Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

Mr. FLETCHER. Do you think the National Education Association would indorse the measure?

Mr. MORGAN. That would depend in the end on what the schools make of it. It already has a great momentum and its attention will depend on the school superintendents, and the school departments of the States. You ask if the National Education Association has indorsed it. I have no way of knowing except what I have stated, that as far as Mr. Crabtree is concerned, and Miss Williams, who is past president and the field secretary, as far as I can sense the situation from those I have talked with, it is rather favorable.

Mr. FLETCHER. If this measure should be reported to the House, would you undertake to get something of that kind for those of us who are friendly to health education, so that we might be in a position to argue in behalf of the bill?

Mr. MORGAN. If the committee would like me to do that.
Mr. FLETCHER. How long would it take?
Mr. MORGAN. About 10 days.
Mr. FLETCHER. I think that would help.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, it would clear the atmosphere.

Mr. FLETCHER. The first thing to be asked will be the attitude of the educators about it.

Mr. Robson. I think it puts Congress in a bad attitude to say to display the flag in order that we might have a proper sense of the health of the children. There is no relation there. It has not any logical sequence to displaying the flag.

Mr. GREENWOOD. I would say it was not entirely unrelated to interest in the health of children. It has a relation to good citizenship.

Mrs. Kahn. Would it harm or help your American education week?

Mr. MORGAN. I do not think that would do it any particular harm. The program for American education week has been built around seven cardinal objectives of education: Health; worthy home membership; mastery of the tools, technics, spirit of learning; faithful citizenship; vocational and economic effectiveness; wise use of leisure; and ethical character.

Mr. FLETCHER. Inasmuch as those are all correlated, why would it not be more effective from your standpoint to have the President issue a proclamation in behalf of this movement and change this day from May to November 5, and have that as health day?

Mr. MORGAN. They have grown up as separate movements already.

Mr. FENN. Why is it necessary to have the flag referred to in this except for sentimental reasons? Why is it necessary for the President to issue a proclamation designating May 1 as school health day?

The CHAIRMAN. I have been in communication with the White House, and they say that Congress has never but once issued a proclamation for displaying the flag, and that was in 1914, on the occasion of mother's day.

Mr. FENN. Is it necessary to refer to the flag at all? Let the President designate May 1 by proclamation.

Mr. FLETCHER. The promiscuous use of the flag cheapens the idea of displaying it.

The CHAIRMAN. The minute we pass this resolution, if it should be passed, you will have every other type of movement in here asking for the flag to be displayed-fire prevention, crop week, etc.

Mr. Fenn. I am in favor of the President making a proclamation. Mr. MORGAN. It is a matter for the committee to decide, of course.

Mr. FLETCHER. Do you think the President would issue a proclamation at the request of the National Education Association without Congress passing legislation? Mr. FENN. And would not that serve your purpose? Mr. MORGAN. As far as schools are concerned; yes.

Mrs. Kain. This is intended to be a community affair rather than an educational affair, as a celebration of May day.

Mr. GREENWOOD: This program is intended to be a diversified program, organizations getting together to cooperate in putting the program over. Children up to 6 years of age are often not in schools and may be taken care of by boards of health in clinics by Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, and Parent-Teacher Associations. Various organizations are doing this work. It is not merely a school affair. The schools are cooperating.

The CHAIRMAN. I think every member of the committee is in sympathy with the idea of the week. The whole controversy is over the use of the flag.

Mr. GREENWOOD. This does not conflict with school week in the fall.

Mr. FLETCHER. Would you be willing to change the measure and leave the flag out of it?

Mr. GREENWOOD. I would not take the responsibility of changing it. It passed the Senate. If you are going to create a day where the public will have an opportunity to express its interest in this movement, I think a proclamation of the President for the use of the flag for such a good community purpose would be a great help.

Mr. FENN. Suppose every other organization wants to create a day to observe?

Mr. GREENWOOD. Every organization is not so important to the health of the child.

Mr. FENN. Take education week, for instance.

Mr. GREENWOOD. Congress when it has this presented to it will decide whether it is of sufficient importance.

Mr. FENN. Not sentimental importance but actual importance,

Mr. GREENWOOD. We are not creating a program of sentimental possibilities, but something that is tangible in relation to child health

STATEMENT OF DR. FRANK W. BALLOU, SUPERINTENDENT

OF SCHOOLS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Doctor Ballou. I think the school people would be, in general, heartily in accord with the purpose of designating May 1 as child health day. I think they all realize that health is fundamental in any educational program as the education of children is very materially interfered with if not entirely stopped by ill health. I think, on the other hand, that this resolution would be subject to a great deal of difference of opinion as to what it means. I will not address myself to that latter aspect unless you desire me to do so. It has been discussed here and I am of the opinion that the resolution as it stands may not be definitely understood; it will not be very clear to school

people generally, and I will say also that I am of the opinion that unless the school people are aware of what is intended, what is desired, they can not cooperate effectively with any other organization in the community that will participate in the observance of this week.

Mr. ROBSION. So far as the resolution shows, the only thing that is necessary to be done for the health of the children of the country is to display the flag.

Doctor Ballou. Yes. That aspect of the matter appears to be uppermost in your minds, so I will address myself to it first. I know nothing about the origin of the resolution and I can speak, therefore, entirely dispassionately and purely objectively about it. I have no feeling about it at all, but this is my general point of view about it. I think the last part of it is general illogical. It does not grow out of the first part of the resolution, that is, displaying the flag.

Mr. Robsion. In other words, if the average school head, the school authorities, or the average head of any American family would read that resolution, they would have to come to one conclusion, that the reason logically for displaying the flag was in order to show an interest in the health of the children.

Doctor BALLOU. Interest in the flag is all the interest any person must have to comply with the suggestion in paragraph one of the resolution. That is why I think it is illogical My understanding of the resolution leads me to believe that it was the expectation that the method of procedure would be left entirely to the community, to the city, or to the State; that the State officials when this day was designated would adopt such a program as would particularly serve their purposes; that it was not the purpose of the resolution to impose upon any locality or any State any additional burden. It was to be entirely voluntary and left entirely to the local communities. The resolution designates May 1 as that day. I would like to speak to the point. I think that is a particularly opportune time of the year in which to round out the physician qualifications of boys and girls, and if there is some remedial action that parents should take on behalf of their children, they have the summer within which to do so. I think the end of the year is much more appropriate than the beginning of the year. As a matter of fact, in the matter of health, it takes time to bring about changes, and beginning May 1 will quite generally insure improvement by the opening of the schools in September, and that is not too long in which to do that.

I am of the opinion that May 1 is a very fine day from the standpoint of the schools. There may be other reasons why that day was designated. I indorse all Doctor Tigert said very heartily. As a schoolman familiar with the feeling of the superintendents in the larger cities, I think we now have too many days and too many weeks that are to be observed for one purpose or another. Every one of them is worthy in itself but they differ very greatly in their importance, and schoolmen have come to the point where they do not as a rule look with favor upon adding to the list of special days or special weeks to be observed. Despite that, however, I have testified and I want to reiterate my position that I am of the opinion that the matter of child health is a matter of so great importance and so generally recognized as such by school people, that they would agree to the observance of that day as this resolution provides, in so far as their observance of it would be helpful to the schools in their respective

jurisdictions. I can conceive that the State commissions of education following issuance of the President's proclamation would issue a program or that each community would work out its own program in accordance with suggestions of the State department of education.

I will show you how this thing operates in connection with American education week. That week has been observed for five or six years. Each school superintendent looks through the list of suggested subjects and decides which one of those days he will give particular emphasis to. In the District of Columbia we have always dedicated new school facilities that were being opened. That gave us occasion to note the progress that was being made in schoolhouse construction and so has a direct relationship to every one of those particular days that are designated in this program.

In addition to that we observed in different years, different types of days that are designated in this program, not undertaking to give consideration to every one of them. I am of the opinion that would be ommon practice with school executives. I believe that it would be helpful to the cause of health education for the children, to center our attention on a given day. Perhaps as the resolution stands, it may be conceived by some to conflict with American education week or with flag day, because this resolution makes of child health day primarily a flag day. There is no question about that. Every one interested in it has to concede that it makes of it primarily a flag day.

Mr. FLETCHER. How many days do we have now for displaying the flag?

Doctor Ballou. The flag generally is displayed every day the schools are in session, on every school building, and most of the States do that.

Mr. FENN. It is law in most States.

Mr. FLETCHER. I meant with ceremonial recognition of displaying the flag.

Mr. FENN. June 14 in a great many States.

Doctor BALLOU. Yes. The children salute the flag every day. Their health exercises are or would be accompanied by exercises relating to the flag.

Mr. FLETCHER. Is there a flag day in May?

Doctor Ballou. Memorial Day, the 30th of May, would be observed the preceding day by the schools.

Mr. LOWREY. Is health one of the items especially in school week? Doctor BALLOU. It is the first day.

Mr. LOWREY. I am from the far South, and the majority of our schools, the rural schools, close before the 1st of May. They have been closing there since the 1st of April. They begin in the late summer or very early fall and run eight months and close by the end of April, nearly all of them. We have what we call better-schools week down there every year, and I take part in campaigns in different counties of my district, and although having fallen from school work into politics, I am still in touch with schoolmen, and they emphasize that health day especially, and emphasize it in November. Would there not be quite a great deal of the territory of this Nation where May 1 would be after the schools were closed?

Doctor BALLOU. I think that is so.

Mr. LOWREY. And another day would be necessary for a great many of the schools if they observed it at all?

Doctor BALLOU. I think it would be necessary.

Mr. Robsion. It is not contemplated for the benefit of those in the schools alone or to be observed only when the schools are in session, but it is a special day set apart for the health of all the children of the Nation.

Mr. LOWREY. I realize that, but the schools would lead the movement. The education people of the community, many of the teachers, leave when the schools close and go into training schools and here and there for the summer.

Doctor Ballou. I started to point out that it might be thought by some that designating child health day on May 1 would interfere with health day in American education week. I do not think it would seriously interfere. I think designating May 1 as child health day would tend to bring particular attention to the matter of health in the public mind at that time or at some other appropriate time. If in a given State they need to make that observance earlier, a proclamation could be issued earlier. I should like to emphasize that point because some argue that when we designate a day for the observance of something, we forget it, the other 364 days of the year. That is not the idea in designating this particular day. The purpose of it is to center public attention on the importance of it and then to do something about it all the rest of the year. The school movement will not be effective if we are going to have one day for health and do nothing about it for all the rest of the year. That is not the way school matters are handled or can be handled. This round-up day centers public attention upon a most important thing, health, and, in my judgment, the designating of a day would tend to bring together a number of forces that are interested in the matter and would promote the improvement of child health throughout the nation. I am of the opinion that it is a very important matter to be encouraged. I do not know that I need to say anything further. I regret, since I am so much interested in child health and the childhealth program, that the resolution seems to have some of the provisions in it that it has, and does not have, as I see it, in it the things which would indicate what might be done.

Mr. FLETCHER. Would you state some of those things?

Doctor Ballou. If you want to display the flag, you could incorporate a statement and say the flag is the symbol of patriotism and good citizenship, which depends upon the health of boys and girls and men and women. The resolution could have incorporated something of that sort which would indicate the significance of displaying the flag. I agree with Congressman Robsion that there is no logical step from the displaying of the flag to the provision in the resolution which follows the words “in order to," because that does not follow. There are long steps between. The President issues a proclamation calling attention to it well in advance of the day. Something has to happen between the time he issues the proclamation and the observance of the day. There must be a lot of machinery set up for observance of the day. That depends on the locality. As I explained, I think the reason all that is left out is that it is left to the locality, but I am of the opinion that the resolution would be far more effective if there were incorporated in it some phrases, such as observing

ܙܙ

« PreviousContinue »