« AnteriorContinuar »
Schedules of salaries of teachers in elementary schools in force during the above period.
a Men elected to positions provided for women.
Maximum salary of principals of district schools with less than 500 pupils, $1,600.
SCIENTIFIC TEMPERANCE INSTRUCTION IN THE PUBLIC
I-Historical sketch, text-books, course of study, topical outline of study, standard of enforcement, duties of school boards, etc. (pp. 695-709).
II.-The effects of alcohol on the human system, and the method of teaching them, by Prof. A. C. Boyden (pp. 709-713).
III.-The legislation effected (pp. 713-714).
1V.-Reports of school officials on the enforcement of the law (pp. 714-724).
VI.-Objections to scientific temperance instruction stated (pp. 733–737).
It is now about a decade since the first organized effort was made to cause all public-school pupils to be taught the laws of health and in that connection the evil effects of alcoholic beverages, tobacco and other narcotics; that their use in whatever degree is dangerous because of their power to create an uncontrollable appetite for more; that the indulgence of such an appetite is unqualifiedly detrimental to the physical and moral well-being of man; and that the only safe course to pursue with regard to these substances is one of total abstinence.
This movement was started by Mrs. Mary H. Hunt,' through the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. The previous experience of Mrs. Hunt as a professor or teacher of chemistry in an eastern college had led to her assuming practical oversight of the education of her only child, who was a student in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1872 to 1876. "While thus engaged," she says, "the question concerning alcohol as a chemical reagent led to inquiry as to its origin, nature, and effects upon the human system as found in the popular alcoholic beverages. This study became an absorbing research that filled me with alarm for the future of a nation whose people were consuming such vast quantities of alcohol."
As a result of this study the conviction was forced upon her "that intemperance could never be prevented until people were taught the real nature and effects of alcoholic drinks, and that this must be done through the schools." The National Temperance Publication Society of New York made several tentative movements in that direction, principally under the direction of Miss Julia Coleman, whose Juvenile Temperance Manual, published in 1878, was subsequently introduced into a few public schools.
The town of Hyde Park, Mass., at the instigation of Mrs. Hunt, was the first to introduce the study of scientific temperance into its public school curriculum. No suitable text-book had been prepared, and for the time being use was made of The Temperance Lesson Book, written by Dr. B. W. Richardson (London, 1887).
Action of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.-The first official action of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was taken, in response to Mrs. Hunt's earnest importunity, at their Indianapolis meeting in 1879, when the following resolution was adopted:
Resolved, That this convention consider the introduction of scientific temperance text-books into the regular course of study in our public schools as a most hopeful line of work. We therefore urge the various States here represented to take immediate action to secure this important study taught in the schools of their several localities.
It is proper to say that Mrs. Hunt kindly undertook the revision of the proofs of this historical sketch.
A standing committee, of which Mrs. Hunt was made chairman, was chosen to carry the above resolution into action. But difficulties were soon encountered in the way of accomplishing any uniform work through a committee widely separated; and at the Boston meeting of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union the ensuing year (1880) a department of scientific temperance instruction in schools and colleges, under a national superintendent, was created, to take the place of the standing committee. Mrs. Hunt, who was chiefly instrumental in bringing about this change, was made superintendent of the department, a position she still holds. It was made her duty in that capacity "to originate, advise, and direct plans of work," which are carried out with the assistance of auxiliary superintendents in all the States. and Territories, who are under the direction of and report to the national superintendent.
Subordinate assistants were appointed for the minor civil divisions of the State, so that the organization is somewhat military in character. Prompt, vigorous, and effective action has been thereby secured, with the ability to concentrate effort at any desired point. This centralization of authority has been one great secret of success.
The labors of the first year, 1880, were chiefly "confined to organizing the work throughout the country and to creating public interest in the proposed study through the press and lectures by the national superintendent before popular audiences, educational bodies, churches, and philanthropic conferences.' In her Brief History of the First Decade, from which the foregoing has been chiefly condensed, as also much which follows, Mrs. Hunt goes on to say: "Some teaching from Dr. Richardson's Temperance Lesson Book and a little work by Miss Coleman, entitled Alcohol and Hygiene, followed these efforts, by order of local school boards. The sporadic character of these results deepened the conviction that the study must be mandatory or it never would be systematically pursued. Experience soon proved the soundness of my position from the first, viz., that text-books on temperance only would not fully meet the need. In order to understand the consequences of violating hygienic law in all respects, but especially in the use of alcholic drinks and other narcotics, pupils must know something of relative physiology and general hygiene; therefore the study should be incorporated with these topics."
What the doctors said.-In the efforts of the leaders in the movement to make progress the stock objection that met them on every side was, "There is nothing definite that can be taught about the effects of alcoholic drinks upon the human system." "The doctors are not agreed about it." It became evident that no progress could be made in getting legislation until an authoritative reply to this objection could be produced.
Mrs. Hunt, therefore, went before the American Medical Association at its meeting at St. Paul, in June, 1882, and asked them for some expression as to the evil nature and effects of alcoholic drinks. She presented the following resolutions on behalf of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union:
Whereas alcoholic intemperance is a prolific cause of disease, and prevention, through the education of the people, is one of the most powerful antidotes,
Resolved, That we approve teaching the children and youth in the schools and educational institutions in this country, as facts of hygiene, the physiological dangers and evils resulting from the use of alcoholic beverages; and
Whereas it is the acknowledged duty of the State to provide for such education of the people as is essential to good citizenship,
Resolved, That we recommend the State legislature to enact laws requiring the physiological dangers and evils resulting from the use of alcoholic beverages taught in all schools supported by public money or under State control.
These resolutions were referred to the section on State medicine, which after some discussion adopted the following as a substitute:
Resolved, That the association reaffirm the resolutions in regard to the abuse of alcoholic liquors passed at Buffalo in 1878, and further urge that all State legislatures introduce hygiene as one of the branches to be taught in the schools.
The resolutions of 1878 so reaffirmed are as follows:
Resolved, That in view of the alarming prevalence and ill effects of intemperance, with which none are so familiar as members of the medical profession, and which have called forth from eminent practitioners the voice of warning to the people of Great Britain concerning the use of alcoholic beverages, we, the undersigned, members of the medical profession of the United States, unite in the declaration that we believe alcohol should be classed with other powerful drugs, that when prescribed it should be done with conscientious caution, and a sense of great responsibility.
Resolved, That we are of the opinion that the use of alcoholic liquors as a beverage is productive of a large amount of physical and mental disease; that it entails diseased appetites and enfeebled constitutions upon offspring, and that it is the cause of a large percentage of the crime and pauperism of our cities and country.
Resolved, That we would welcome any change in public sentiment that would confine the use of intoxicating liquor to the uses of science, art, and medicine.
No one can doubt that these resolutions placed a powerful weapon in the hands of the promoters of the new study, or that it was most effectively used. "The favorite objection," wrote Mrs. Hunt at the time," of opponents is silenced, for no one can hereafter say that the doctors of this country disprove the statement of facts against alcoholic beverages that we would teach the rising gener
The end achieved.-A course of thorough and systematic agitation was entered upon to create a public sentiment in favor of compulsory temperance education and to influence law makers in the desired direction. As a result, the first compulsory temperance education law was enacted in Vermont, in November, 1882. By this law there was added to the branches to be taught in the common schools "elementary physiology and hygiene, which shall give special prominence to the effect of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics, upon the human system." In the ensuing year laws to the same effect, more or less stringent in their requirements, were enacted in many other States. A tabular statement giving the date of enactment of these laws and their general features will be found on page 713.
A difficulty was experienced at first in the matter of text-books. Dr. Richardson's Temperance Lesson Book proved too technical for common school use, and like Miss Coleman's book, contained only temperance matter, but no physiology or other hygiene which the State laws were demanding. Publishers and authors were slow to believe there would be a permanent market for this kind of literature.
The first physiological temperance book indorsed by the superintendent of the Scientific Department of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was written by Dr. Steele, and published by A. S. Barnes & Co., the latter being actuated in their venture by philanthropic as well as business motives.
The design of the promoters of the movement was to have "all pupils in all schools," receive a temperance education, and to this end a series of at least three text-books would be necessary, one each for high, intermediate, and primary grades of schools, and four for schools closely graded. It was deemed best that these books should be issued by regular school-book publishing houses.
In 1884, after a search for authors and publishers, and the disappointments of authors of manuscripts rejected because unsuitable, and wrath of publishers books who secould not be indorsed, two books were pronounced ready for use, one for high schools (Steele's Hygienic Philosophy) and one for intermediate grades (Hygiene for Young People). The book for primary grades was still wanting. Mrs. Hunt says in her report of that year:
"Large numbers of publishers and authors have rushed into our field with books containing the old and disproven theories concerning alcohol, badly arranged and badly graded, and otherwise inadequate to the demands of the laws and the needs of the schools. These works are defective in their treatment of alcohol, and have not the proportion or arrangement of temperance matter that is intended by the spirit and letter of this legislation."
The ensuing year (1885) the set of three approved text-books, known as the Pathfinder series, was made complete by the addition of the Child's Health Primer, prepared under the direction of the scientific department of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
As the temperance-education movement began to assume large proportions, publishers ceased to entertain doubts about a market for this kind of school literature. About thirty works on physiology for school use were issued by different houses immediately after the passage of the New York law in 1884. "Most of these were the old-time physiologies with a little temperance matter tacked on the back of the book as an addenda, where pupils would rarely reach it. The embarrassing position of the national superintendent in not being able to indorse these books can hardly be appreciated."
The laws passed by the Legislatures of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania in 1885 excluded text-books with temperance matter in the appendix. This aroused the opposition of the publishers, but to no purpose; they were obliged generally to remodel their books, "putting the temperance matter where it belongs, in each division of the subject of physiology with the other hygiene. Although this was the first step toward the satisfactory revision that came in later years, yet these books, in quality and quantity of temperance matter and adaptation to grade, were still so defective that they could not be indorsed," as was the Pathfinder series.