Ardent patriotism, unless sensibly directed, degenerates into narrow-mindedness. That seems to be the fault of the North Dakota State Board of Education, which has resolved to discontinue the teaching of German in public schools. Although there has been a tendency to bring this about in some Eastern cities, yet no such widespread decision was made. Now we hear from the West that a whole state has determined to substitute the study of French and Spanish for that of German. For no other reason than our present state of war, the school board of North Dakota has decided to keep people from learning the language of our enemy.
We cannot see any reasonable excuse for eliminating this study. Some objections have been brought against it because text books often include passages that may arouse a latent love for the Fatherland, but this is not a sufficient cause for condemning the tongue. On the other hand, important reasons necessitate its retention. In the first place, many scientific and historical works used by the whole world were written by Teuton authors. Although the committee does not prevent men from studying these, yet it discourages younger scholars from reaching this store of knowledge. In the second place, men who know German are a military necessity now and will be of great benefit to the nation in the years after war. North Dakota, however, is carried away by hate to destroy what is more an advantage than a hindrance. Opposition to the Hun is turned in the wrong direction when it checks reasonable education and changes culture to Kultur.