« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
regulations should be drawn up, by some body having competent authority, for the government and guidance of boards of trustees, rules and regulations in which specific directions shall be given in regard to these all-important matters.
VII. It seems to me that in this and some other respects there is too great a limitation of the authority of the teacher. The teacher ought to be the supreme authority in the school room, and held responsible only for the abuse of that authority. To put one in charge of from twenty to sixty boys and girls and require him to keep them in order, to teach them, not only secular knowledge, but manners and morals, and then tie his hands, is putting him at a great disadvantage. In this matter of cleanliness, I doubt whether a teacher has any authority to send a child home to be cleansed unless a rule is first passed by the board of trustees giving him that authority. He may assume it and require every child to present himself in a cleanly condition, and if any child should attempt to enter the room without having complied with his rule, he might send him home; but, as I said before, it is doubtful whether he has any right to do so. The right to make rules and regulations for the government of pupils is committed to trustees, and yet the very necessities of the case require that the teacher shall have full control in all these matters. It is doubtful whether a teacher has a right to exclude a pupil that comes from a family where a contagious disease exists, unless a rule is first made by the board of trustees. I think that in everything pertaining to the sanitary condition of the school room, to the proper cleanly condition of pupils, the teachers ought to have full control. Especially does it seem right in these days when nearly all our teachers are intelligent men and women. With very few exceptions they have all been taught the subjects of physiology and hygiene, at least so far that they are acquainted with the great general laws of life and health. I think it is not casting any reflection upon members of boards of trustees, either in city or country, to say that teachers are better fitted to judge in these matters than trustees are, for the very reason that the majority of trustees have never paid any attention to such matters and are not called to attend to them every day. This is part of the teacher's daily work, and there is not an hour in the day when something connected with the sanitary condition of the school room, or of the pupils, does not present itself. I am aware that teachers are liable to bring censure upon themselves if they carry out what they believe to be necessary for the health of the children, in requiring them to present themselves in a cleanly condition, and in preventing their entrance if they are not in that condition, or if they refuse admittance to children coming from families where there are contagious diseases. We are all apt to be found fault with if we attempt to perform duties that necessarily spring out of our positions, and yet our responsibility requires that we have the power to meet that responsibility.
VIII. The State Board of Education of this State have power to prescribe and cause to be enforced all rules and regulations necessary for carrying into effect the school laws of this State. Whether this gives them power to prescribe size of buildings, site of buildings, seating accommodation, character of seats, sanitary regulations for the government of trustees, teachers and pupils, may be a matter of dispute. My own opinion is that it does. General rules for the government of all schools, coming from this highest school authority, would be treated with great respect. Already a rule has been made that county superintendents shall note the condition of school houses and outbuildings. This is in accordance with the section of the school law that requires each county superintendent to report to the State superintendent any and all facts within his purview which touch and describe the location and capacity of each school healthfully to accommodate the pupils in attendance, to the end that a full observation may be deduced, favorable or otherwise, as to an ample supply of sittings, suitability of conveniences, eligibility of position, attention to ventilation, and as to all such other pertinent subjects as may clearly and fully exhibit the sanitary condition of the public schools under his official inspection. This gives no authority to the county superintendent to determine anything in these matters. All that he is empowered to do is to inspect and report. But if the law requires that these matters be reported, by inference, at least, it gives the power to the body to which the report is made to make rules and regulations with regard to the matter reported. Then if rules should be made by the State Board of Education determining what is healthful accommodation and what is detrimental to this healthful condition, it would become the duty of the county superintendent to see that such rules were observed.
It seems to me, then, that under our present law we have the means for protecting the children in our schools from anything that may
prove injurious to health, although the local authorities that have the power seldom use it.
Let me now put in brief the points made :
1. A crowded condition of school rooms makes the danger from uncleanliness greater.
2. At least an average floor space of fifteen square feet should be allowed to each pupil.
3. When the number allowed by this limit is reached, no more pupils should be admitted to the room.
4. There ought to be a separate seat for each pupil.
5. The room ought to have a regular air bath once every hour during the day, every door and window being thrown open for two or three minutes.
6. The surface of desks should be washed every week with soap and warm water; at least once a month.
7. Trustees have the power to make rules for the government of schools in sanitary matters, but they frequently forget to make them.
8. Teachers have not the authority. It would be well if they had larger powers in these matters. They ought to have the power to send any child home that presents himself in an uncleanly condition, or that comes from a family where a contagious disease exists.
9. As many trustees are ignorant of laws of health, or careless in making rules for the protection of the health of the pupils, it would be well for the State Board of Education to make such rules. If that authority is not invested in the State Board of Education, then it would be well for the State Board of Health to make them.
ABSTRACTS FROM ADDRESSES AND PAPERS OF · THE NEW JERSEY SANITARY ASSOCIATION.
The second report of this Board (1878) contained an outline of and abstract from the annual meetings of the New Jersey Sanitary Association to that date. Five meetings of the Association have been held since, viz., the fifth, at the State Normal School, Trenton, in December, 1879; the sixth, at Elizabeth, December, 1880; the seventh, at Rutgers College, New Brunswick, December, 1881, and the eighth and the ninth, at the State House, Trenton, December, 1882 and 1883. As there is no printed volume of the transactions of this Association, it is of permanent service to our citizens to make brief notices and abstracts of the papers presented or the discussions which arise.
Dr. J. L. Bodine, the President of the Association in 1879, after giving various reasons why sanitary science and art should receive attention, showed why this study was impossible until physiology,chemistry, geometry and kindred subjects had been pursued, as also why it is that even yet our knowledge is so imperfect :
"Modern sanitary science, or public hygiene, is a development of the present generation, and it is coincident with the advancement of knowledge and improvement in the social condition of the dwellers in civilized communities. The Irish famine, with its large mortality from fever, scurvy and starvation, the various epidemics in recent times of cholera, diphtheria and yellow fever, the great waste of life in the Crimean and our civil war, the systematic study and registry of vital statistics, the investigations into the causation of various diseases and the conditions under which they arise and spread, and many other social influences, have powerfully aided in its development, and have caused it to be the subject of the hour—the subject for discussion and illustration in our daily press and in our popular magazines. Sanitary progress was possible, and some of the greatest triumphs of knowledge in the direction of disease-prevention really did take place in an age before ours. Edward Jenner, in the last century, as a result of the patient observation and interpretation of a neglected fact, did show how that most contagious, loathsome, fatal and disfiguring disease, small-pox, could be stamped out by the protective influence of an artificial disease communicated by the process of vaccination; and John Howard, that greatest of philanthropists, by intelligent, selfdenying and persistent labor in the accumulation and presentation to the public of the facts of the management of jails and prisons, caused the disappearance of the jail distemper and the black assizes, and so promoted prison reform that it has become the fact, a well-managed modern prison—by its cleanliness, by its equable temperature, by its ventilation, by its abundant water-supply, by its speedy removal of all excreted and refuse material, by the discipline of its occupants, by their regular hours of labor and rest, by their plain, yet sufficient diet, by their protection from changes of the weather, by their deprivation of artificial stimulants, and by their constant medical supervision, so that the beginnings of disease are prevented or treated—has become an exceptionally healthy institution.”
Some of the contributions to sanitary science were then noticed :
“Of the contributions to sanitary progress, in modern times, probably no single one has been so fruitful as the discovery of vaccination by Edward Jenner, and none illustrating more clearly Christian charity and self-denying labor for others than the work of John Howard, but modern sanitary science has done much towards improving the knowledge of external conditions and surroundings in their influence upon the health and mental and moral welfare of men. It has traced the causes of diseases and the conditions under which they arise. By the aid of chemistry, and the microscope and other instruments of precision, it has shown the relations of healthy and diseased structure, the adulterations of food and the amount and kind of impurities in air and water, with their results. It has shown the relations between the ground atmosphere and disease, or, in other words, the results of the impregnation of the ground around and below human habitations with organic refuse and impurities. It has established the casual relation between a damp soil and consumption, neuralgia, rheumatism and catarrh. It has shown that drinking-water and the supply of milk may become vehicles for the transmission of the material poison of the contagious diseases. It has studied the subject of physical training, in relation to health; the methods of school management and discipline, and the kind, variety and number of school studies in their relation to mental and physical development. It has investigated the relations of heredity, training and environment to the great social evils, crime and insanity. It has shown the effect of occupation upon health and has demonstrated that by overcrowding and defective ventilation the air of workshops and factories may be made such that pulmonary diseases appear to spread from one to another.