Sufferings of Little Children from Bad Schoolhouses.
Too Long; Didn't ReadOne of the county superintendents reports of the schoolhouses in his district: “One house in K. is literally unfit for a stable; the sashes of several windows are broken, twenty or thirty panes of glass are out, the door is off, and used for a writing-table. Yet the district is wealthy, but ‘they cannot get a vote to build a new schoolhouse.’” “Another schoolhouse in W. is nearly as bad; the gable ends falling out, the chimney down, and the windows nearly all boarded up.” Many of the schoolhouses are situated in the highway, so that, at play, the children are endangered by the passing horses and vehicles, and the traveller is also endangered by the rushing of boisterous boys, frightening his horses. Instances of this sort have repeatedly occurred.
Another writes, that in one of the largest landed districts, the worst log schoolhouse in the district is still retained, offering no security against winds and storms. One of the window sashes was “laid up overhead because it would not stay in its place.” To keep the door shut against the wind, one end of a bench was put against it, and a boy set to tend it, as one and another went out.
Another writes, that he often finds the schoolhouses situated on some bleak knoll, exposed to the howling blasts of winter and the scorching rays of the summer’s sun, or in some marsh or swamp, surrounded by stagnant pools, rife with miasma, and charged with disease and death. It is not uncommon, in such places, to find large schools almost entirely broken up by sickness, and that, too, when no contagious diseases are prevailing among children.
One of these superintendents says, “A trustee of one school, where the schoolhouse was situated in a goose-pond, the water under the floor being several inches deep, told me his children were almost invariably obliged to leave school on account of sickness, and that the school was often broken up from this cause. Parents pay ten times as much, for physicians to cure diseases contracted at school, as it would cost to build a comfortable schoolhouse and supply it with every accommodation.”