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been decided by the best medical authority, as well as by universal observation of mankind, that both alcoholic stimulants and narcotics exert a baneful and destructive influence, not only upon the body and its various functions, but it likewise destroys the intellect and deadens the moral sensibilities. In view of all these results, we, as school officers and good citizens, should unite to make the teaching of the effects of alcoholic stimulants and narcotics upon the human system a success. We should supply our teachers with all the necessary appliances to secure the best results, and furnish our schools with the best maps, charts, and books, to enable the teacher to perform his part in this great work. I am pleased to note that teachers throughout the State have, in most instances, taken hold of this subject with an earnestness that is full of promise for good results.
Obstacles to the execution of the law.-State Superintendent N. A. Luce reports (1890): The results of the law requiring instruction in the hygienic effects of stimulants and narcotics have not been fully up to what was hoped and expected when enacted. Three obstacles have stood in the way of such results:
1. In the smaller rural schools where failure has been most general, the incompetence of the teachers has been the cause of such failure. In such schools, of necessity the instruction must be largely oral because of the primary character of those to be taught, and such instruction to be efficient presupposes teachers of higher professional grade than is required to give instruction from textbooks. Efficient oral work, except in rare cases, can be done only by those trained and practiced in such work.
2. The unwillingness of parents to purchase text-books has hitherto been an almost insurmountable obstacle not confined to any class or grade of schools. While oral teaching in this as in other branches is most efficient with primary classes, it is otherwise with those more advanced. With these the text-book is a necessity.
3. The inertia of public opinion-a quite general feeling that this instruction is of minor importance-has not only been in large measure the producing cause of the two obstacles already cited, but an obstacle in and of itself. Schools both in their instruction and supervision are quick to respond to the condition of public opinion. Had there been sharp public demand that every child in every school should be taught as the terms of the law require, a demand watchful and exacting, there can be little doubt that cases of utter ignoring of law would have been rare, and that pupils and teachers would every where have been affected by that demand.
The first of these obstacles can be removed only by such reform in our system as will lift these poorer schools out of their present condition. The second has been largely removed by the furnishing of free books. The third will disappear only as the result of a campaign of education." To bring this instruction up to the efficiency desired by those who believe in its vital importance, calls not for law but for labor. Law can not create public opinion, but public opinion will compel the observance of law. Labor with teachers is needed to awaken them to deeper interest and more earnest effort; with school officers to force them to full exercise of their authority; and especially with the people to educate them to an intelligent appreciation of the value of the results sought. Such labor is the privilege, and the duty as well, of those by whose efforts the law was enacted and of all others who believe in its wisdom.
Statistics.-In 1889, out of 3,894 ungraded schools, 2,557 had classes in physiology.
In 1890, out of 3,909 ungraded schools, 2,426 had classes in physiology.
Object and methods of the instruction-Exaggerated statements to be avoided.—G. T. Fletcher, agent of the State board: This is required to be given in connection with physiology and hygiene, which are to include special instruction as to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics on the human system."
Right and faithful teaching in this line may prove of great value to the Commonwealth, and the subject should secure careful consideration from school officials and teachers. The reports of school committees seem to indicate that some effort is made in every town to comply with the requirements of the law.
My personal observation convinces me that the methods and results are not satisfactory. Many teachers desire to do justice to the subject, but they plead,
as an excuse for neglect, lack of time and knowledge. Perhaps a brief consideration of the object of the instruction may suggest a method.
The teaching is to lead the child to form temperate habits of living. His knowledge of the danger of indulgence in the use of narcotics and intoxicants must lead to a development and exercise of will power sufficient to enable him to resist temptation. The education must be intellectual and moral, to induce the habits of thought and action necessary to good citizenship. The instruction should be true, simple, and earnest, largely objective; illustrations may be drawn from life, pictures, and recorded facts. Personalities and allusions that will wound the feelings of children should be avoided. No exaggerated statements of the evils to be shunned should be made; they are not wholly true, and they will react against the cause.
For young pupils good temperance stories are valuable. I am inclined to think that most temperance teaching should be oral, the school being supplied with such books and charts as will be helpful to teacher and pupils for reference. Truths from scientific investigations, and facts and figures from other reliable sources, may prove valuable. Not so much for school as for life the children need temperance instruction, and the teacher should honestly, faithfully, as well as intelligently, endeavor to make lasting impressions.
Begin with the teachers.-State board of education: The statutes require that physiology and hygiene shall be taught in all the public schools as a regular branch of study, and that the teaching shall have special reference to the effect of stimulants and narcotics upon the human system. The board has instructed its agents to make particular inquiry as to the manner in which this requirement is met. They report that the disposition is very general to comply with the law, but that very much of the teaching under this head is defective and of little value, owing to the inability of teachers to deal with the subject. In the judgment of the board, therefore, especial attention must be given to the training of teachers to teach this branch of learning before the results expected from its introduction into the schools will be produced.
Overteaching is perilous.-State Superintendent Theodore Nelson (1886): In my opinion it is the design of the law to give to this class of studies the same status it gives to other practical topics, such as reading or grammar, i. e., that somewhere in his course the pupil shall be taught the physiological and moral effects of narotics and alcoholic stimulants upon the whole being of man. To my mind this is quite enough. Less would be insufficient; more would be unnecessary, and possibly harmful. It is to be regretted that in any public school the full requirements of the law should suffer neglect; yet it would be a mistake quite as serious to give to these special studies a disproportionate, unequal place in the school curriculum-to coordinate them, as some extremists insist upon doing, with every other subject from the low zones of a, b, c up to the high regions of calculus. Overteaching upon a subject which relates to moral conduct, especially if it concerns the appetites or passions, is really perilous. Too constant dwelling upon topics of this character has a tendency to invoke morbid conditions in the mind of the youth which either provokes or fascinates him to attempt dangerous experiments. Were you to teach a boy the flagrant wickedness of burglary it would not be expedient, nor would it be necessary, to induct him into the mysteries of picking a lock. The specialist finds a peculiar charm in the ugly spider; he sees a thousand beauties in the bright colors and sinister eyes of a loathsome snake. We may well fear the consequences of making our boys and girls too familiar with nauseating details of any evil which we desire them to shun. The teacher or parent can not be too earnest to enjoin correct principles, to give warning of penalties, and to himself exhibit a blameless example: which having done he can effectively add nothing further, except to devoutly leave the result with God.
Statistics. In 1890, out of 10.810 school districts, 5,701 reported physiology taught, and 4,768 reported physiology not taught; 341 districts failed to report.
Temperance in the broader sense.-State Superintendent D. L. Kichle (1888): The reports from the counties indicate a purpose to honestly exccute the law. The subject is doubtless as well taught as others are. The children are easily
interested, and I have no doubt will derive much permanent good through the skill and example of good teachers. Nothing should be left undone that will fix in the minds of our youth a sense of the folly and danger of the use of alcoholic beverages, and a resolution to entirely abstain from their use. I therefore cordially support this law, and have, so far as I know, used every means to administer it thoroughly. It ought, however, to be noted in a report upon education, as this assumes to be, that temperance in the restricted sense of abstinence from the use of any kind of food or drink is in itself but a negative virtue, and must therefore in an educational view take a subordinate place in any curricu lum of instruction. Character is determined by what a man is, and not by what he is not, by what he does, and not by what he does not do. Hence, education having to do with the whole man in his health, intelligence, and character, it has chiefly to do with the positive virtues of temperance in the broader sense of self-control and the subordination of appetite and passion to the authority of the higher moral and intellectual natures, of high purposes in choosing worthy objects of life, of pure tastes in the love of the good, the beautiful, and the true. These receiving the first place, a secondary consideration should in reason be given to what is destructive and inconsistent with what every wise man should be, and for what he should live.
Reports of county superintendents-(1890).
Anoka County.-No opposition has been made to the instruction in temperance hygiene. Both teachers and pupils seem to enjoy this subject. Anatomical charts have been purchased for about two-thirds of all the schools. The greatest difficulty seems to be in getting parents to supply the children with books. Douglas County.-Instruction in temperance hygiene has been systematically and regularly given in all schools, since the law requiring it became operative. The books recommended by the commission have been used exclusively and have given the best of satisfaction.
Lac qui Parle County.-No objection to the teaching of this subject in the schools has been heard. In nearly all of the schools it is taught, and I believe there is no subject more entertaining to the little ones, or one that will be of more importance to them in their general education. The teachers in nearly all of the schools use the book recommended by the commissioner.
Meeker County.-Temperance hygiene has been taught in every school without exception. In some instances, however, threats had to be resorted to in order to induce school boards to do their duty in this respect. All the teachers have been loyal and active in doing their parts in fulfilling the law.
Redwood County.-The temperance hygiene work is quite satisfactory. Teachers feel the need of good, earnest work on this subject. Nearly all make place for it on their programme. Some try it on the three times a week plan. What have we accomplished in the work, no one can tell. We shall know more five years hence.
Swift County.-Temperance hygiene has found a place on every programme in our schools, and the law is well observed.
Wilkin County.-Instruction in temperance hygiene has been given in this county, I think, very thoroughly and has been met with no opposition.
The law a farce and a fraud.—The law on teaching the evil effects of alcoholic stimulants and narcotics upon the human system is a farce and fraud. It is virtually a prohibition against temperance instruction in the public schools. And strange as it may appear, those who claimed to favor proper legislation upon this subject, favored this measure, while they rejoiced over the defeat of Senate bill No. 52, which required such instruction in all schools of the State. The law as it stands is worthless, and should be repealed or amended. (State Superintendent W. E. Coleman.)
Montana without a law.-State Superintendent John Gannon (1892): The only law upon our statute books relating to the teaching of the effects of stimulants and narcotics is that known as the "Blair bill," approved May 20, 1886; but as that applied only to the Territories, it became void upon the admission of Montana into the Union, and has not been reenacted by our legislature; though
teachers are still examined in "physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the nature and the effects of alcoholic drinks and other narcotics upon the human system."
Statistics (1890).—Out of three hundred and sixty-one school districts in the State, physiology and hygiene were taught in three hundred and thirty-six.
Scientific knowledge necessary.-State Superintendent W. C. Dovey (1890): The legislature passed an act in 1885 which provides that elementary physiology and hygiene, which shall give special prominence to the effect of alcohol and narcoties upon the human system, shall be taught in the public schools. No wiser provision is found in our school law. Scientific knowledge on this subject, though very primary, will do more in shaping the habits of the children in this respect than can be done by appeals to his moral nature or by reviewing the terrible degradation and ruin which its use has inflicted upon the human family. Reasons, stronger than sentimentalism, excite in him a wise fear of the tippler's habit. The following figures show that the great body of our teachers are in hearty accord with this law: Number of children studying physiology in 1885, 365; in 1886, 851; in 1887, 1,602; in 1888, 2,150; in 1889, 2,265; in 1890, 2,283 [out of 7,387 pupils enrolled]. In six years the number has increased from 365 to 2,283. This item is a source of thankful congratulation to every intelligent friend of the rising generation.
Nearly all schools complying with the law.-State Superintendent J. W. Patterson (1890): In the year 1883 an act was passed, without any material opposition in either house, which required school boards to prescribe in all schools sufficiently advanced the study of physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcoholic stimulants and narcotics upon the human system. To prevent evasion by those not favorable to the law, it was amended in 1887 so as to require the introduction of this study in "all mixed schools and in all graded schools above the primary."
Being deeply interested in the execution of the law, I endeavored to inform myself as to how far it had been complied with and the spirit with which the subject was taught. It took a year or two to qualify the teachers to do even respectable work in this branch. There were a few towns which ignored the law, as every sensible man knew there would be, and there were others that complied with the letter of the law and violated its spirit. But as time went on I was gratified with what seemed to me as general a compliance with the law as any one had reason to anticipate.
I was, therefore, greatly surprised and not a little annoyed when his excellency the governor, in his inaugural, stated that so far as he could learn the law had been almost entirely disregarded." I said to myself, either I am mistaken or the governor has been misinformed, and the public has a right to know whether the law is a dead letter or not. I therefore inserted the following questions in the statistical blanks sent to the school boards for their annual returns: 1. Give number of schools in which physiology and hygiene are taught with text-book. 2. Give number of schools in which they are taught orally.
All but eight towns in the State responded to these questions, and the result is as follows: In 946 schools physiology and hygiene are taught by text-books, and in 817 they are taught orally. This gives us 1,763 schools out of 2,302 in the State in which the law has been regarded, leaving only 539 in the whole State in which the subject is not taught. This number would be considerably reduced by the statistics from the eight towns not heard from. It is gratifying to learn from the school boards, who know the facts, that nearly all the schools of the State, except the primary, in which the subject is not required to be taught, are complying with the requirements of the law. Clearly his excellency the governor, whose scrupulous loyalty to facts and fearless fidelity to the cause of temperance all men must respect, was misinformed by parties who presumed to advise on matters in respect to which they had no definite knowledge.
I do not claim that the subject is taught with great thoroughness in some of the schools, but I presume it is up to the average teaching in other studies in those schools. The limitations are in the qualifications of the teachers, and will be removed with their improvement.
Statistics. In 1889, out of 30,024 pupils, 18,523 studied physiology and hygiene. In 1899, out of 30,821 pupils, 21,301 studied physiology and hygiene.
Statistics.-In 1889: Number of pupils, 777,162; number studying physiology, In 1890: Number of pupils, 797,439; number studying physiology, 236,901.
Such knowledge is of vast account.-State Superintendent E. E. Higbee (1885): In regard to the recent law requiring physiology and hygiene to be taught as part of the necessary curriculum of our public schools, a word here may not be out of place. Of course, where children can not read intelligently or with ease, it would be a monstrous perversion of ordinary common sense to expect them to use a text-book. Their instruction, to be such and not a farce, must be oral; and such instruction must and ought to be given, properly adapted to the age and attainment of the pupil. In higher grades, text-books in full conformity with the meaning and purpose of the law should be used; and thus all pupils, whether of low or high grades, will receive instruction. Only enmity to the law can warrant such an interpretation as will defeat its own purpose, which plainly is, that all our children shall gain as much knowledge of physiology and hygiene as our common schools, with their limited sphere, can give, accompanied at each step with a proper practical application of this knowledge in reference especially to the effects of alcohol and narcotics on the human system. Such knowledge is in itself of vast account; and such special application of it, in way of warning, properly belongs to the moral discipline which should characterize all teaching, whether required by definite statute or not. The lawabiding habits of teachers and directors give abundant assurance that this law will be fully obeyed. We are willing that time shall demonstrate how far it may serve to remove one of the greatest curses that pollute social life. The fathers and mothers of this Commonwealth will be more than thankful for anything which may aid their children in keeping away from those temptations which they themselves so much fear, and from which so many of them have been made miserable and broken hearted.
In harmony with public sentiment-The right to impart such instruction unquestionable.-State Superintendent E. E. Higbee (1886): The practical operation of the act of assembly requiring the subject of physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcohol and narcotics upon the human system, to be introduced in the schools as a legal branch of study, strengthens and confirms our belief in the wisdom of the law. The act was approved April 2, 1885, and went into effect at the beginning of the school year, in June following.
The commendable spirit in which the measure was so generally acquiesced in by the patrons of the schools, its prompt enforcement by directors, the earnest cooperation of superintendents, and the willingness of the teachers to comply with its provisions by a ready performance of the duties required of them, offer an unanswerable argument in proof of the fact that such instruction given to the children in the public schools is in favor with the people, and in harmony with a strong and growing public sentiment throughout the Commonwealth.
There have been shortcomings in some instances and partial failures in others, but there are few indeed in comparison, and occasioned more, we believe, by a misunderstanding of the law's requirements than by a disposition to evade its provisions. All things fairly considered, the friends of the measure have cause for congratulation, and even the most sanguine and hopeful of its advocates can find much to commend in the work of the first year.
The good results that will come from judicious and timely instruction in the subject will in the near future demonstrate the practicability of temperance teaching in the public schools, and will fully justify the policy of the course pursued.
The principles underlying moral instruction in the schools as a proper preparation for good citizenship, as well as to afford protection and safety to the individual, are pressing themselves more forcibly to-day than ever before upon the