Page images
PDF
EPUB

Here's to the gray of the sun-kissed South,

As they meet on the fields of France!
May the spirit of Lee be over them all

As the sons of the South advance!
Here's to the blue and the gray as one,

As they meet on the fields of France!
May the spirit of God be over them all

As the sons of the flag advance!

Letters written to soldiers in the field and to children in the allied countries offer a good way for giving shape and expression to the children's aroused patriotism. I doubt whether anyone has come nearer to phrasing the real meaning of this war than a sixteen-year-old girl in a French secondary school in Paris. Mr. John H. Finley, commissioner of New York state, brought it back with him from his recent visit. Being translated it is:

It was only a little river, almost a brook; it was called the Yser. One could talk from one side to the other without raising one's voice, and the birds could fly over it with one sweep of their wings. And on the two banks there were millions of men the one turned toward the other, eye to eye. But the distance which separated them was greater than the stars in the sky; it was the distance which separates right from injustice.

The ocean is so vast that the seagulls do not dare to cross it. During seven days and nights the great steamships of America, going full speed, drive through the deep waters before the lighthouses of France come into view; but from one side to another the hearts are touching.

The drawing of pictures and posters has furnisht effective modes of expression.

But it is thru three organizations that some of the most practical patriotic instruction is being carried on:

The Boy Scouts is an organization antedating this war, but the coming of the war has put a new spirit and a new character into it. These lads in the khaki uniform find ready and fruitful ways for translating their fine ideals into deeds. How willingly their hands and feet carry a thousand messages a day to Garcia! How keenly they feel the spirit of the hour, how gladly they accept responsibility, and how nobly they perform their duties!

The United States Boys' Working Reserve is an organization born out of the strain of this war. It is shot thru and thru with the most patriotic purposes and possibilities. It lacks the uniform and the dress-parade features of the Boy Scouts. It is practical in every way. Its members are parts of an army, to be sure, but they are a working, shirt-sleeve, sweating, hungry, toiling, whistling sort of an army. There may not be much glamor or glory in milking a cow, in driving a cultivator, in greasing the harness, in slopping the pigs, but it may be the most direct way of serving one's country and carrying aid to our Allies and distress to our enemies.

The Junior Red Cross offers perhaps the best of all forms of organization for practical, worth-while patriotic activity for all our children. It includes boys and girls alike. It enters the private as well as the public schools. Every grade in every school may become a Junior Red Cross chapter. It offers the best means for coordinating and consolidating all the war demands made upon our schools. Would you sell War Saving Stamps ? Let the Junior Red Cross chapter do it. Would you float Liberty Bonds, carry coal and food tags, hang posters, get up a parade, or give a patriotic program? The Junior Red Cross stands ready to carry out every one. Would you send a sweet remembrance to a mother whose son is on the firing-line? A committee of girls from the Junior Red Cross chapter of the third grade carries a bouquet of flowers with the simple statement that the members are giving a little to her who has given so much for them. Does a yard need mowing because the hands which did it last summer are now carrying a musket in France ? Two boys from the eighth grade rattle down the street with a lawn mower and somewhat abruptly announce to the soldier's wife or mother that they have come to mow down the grass while the soldier is away mowing down the enemies of our country.

In some such ways as these we may create the atmosphere of patriotism, arouse the emotions, and translate the patriotism into habits of thought and attitudes of mind and heart.

DISCUSSION A. E. WINSHIP, editor, Journal of Education, Boston, Mass.—The American schools have never appreciated the necessity of patriotic instruction. It has been assumed that it was all-sufficient that children come to school, get assigned lessons, behave themselves, and salute the flag appropriately. We have called the public school the melting-pot of all nationalities. Mary Antin's "Promised Land” has been the culminating testimony to the efficiency of the schools patriotically. But the moment America entered the world-war it became evident that some of the children who had been in the melting-pot had not been adequately melted, that patriotism had not always been developt. Practically all close observers of children in school and out agree that something is lacking in the patriotic instruction of the public schools. Whatever else the world-war has done, or left undone, it has already taught us that we cannot longer be an isolated nation, that we can no longer live to ourselves alone, that the famous Monroe Doctrine would have no more significance than a sheet of paper unless we had some power other than the pen that wrote it.

It was the greatest shock the New World ever received when it was known that Kaiser William proposed to divide up a large slice of the United States between Mexico and Japan, and that he deliberately told us that our ships could not sail the sea except by going where he chose to allow them to go. No pig in a pen or hen in a coop was ever more insolently treated than was the United States by the Kaiser. For nearly three years there was not patriotism enough anywhere in America to resent insults, to check treachery, to help the only red-blooded nations who cared or dared to challenge the treachery, butchery, and debauchery of the Huns. The moment there was adequate patriotism officially there was discovered unanticipated disloyalty even in schools and colleges, much of it bordering on treason. There were Ethan Allens and Israel Putnams. There were Paul Reveres and Mad Anthony Waynes, but, alas, there were Benedict Arnolds. Now we know that the public schools must teach patriotism effectively just as we know that we must win this war, whatever the sacrifice of life and treasure. The only question is, How?

The first element in patriotism is the absolute unity of sentiment among all the nations that are fighting side by side. This is a principle as old as man. Loyalty to each other is the first law of patriotism. Whoever helps us win this war is, to all intents and purposes, American. Briton, Italian, Frenchman, is in this struggle American, and no man is a loyal American who is not now a loyal Briton, Italian, Frenchman. This means that we must take out of all school history every paragraph that would revive the prejudices of the Revolutionary War. We must not teach our children to glory in the evacuation of Boston or the surrender of Cornwallis.

There can be no patriotism that does not cement in closest bonds all sections of the United States. Whoever goes to Camp Robert E. Lee in Virginia, and Camp John B. Gordon in Georgia, to Camp Phil Sheridan in Alabama, and John A. Logan in Texas, who sees southern boys at Camp Devens in Massachusetts, and at Camp Grant in Illinois, who realizes that the late congressman Gardner of Massachusetts insisted upon being an officer in a Georgia regiment, can but see that the last year has done much toward unifying patriotic American sentiment. Let all teachers in the North put the soft pedal on Gettysburg and Appomattox and all teachers of the South couple the names of Grant and Lee a little more sympathetically.

When the Mormon University students at Provo, Utah, contribute $2300 to the Y.M.C.A. work in France we can but feel disgusted at any attempt to arouse commercial prejudice against Utahans. “Whoever does so is disloyal to every patriotic requirement of the hour. Patriotism is all-Americanism, and all disloyalty is traitorous. Patriotism means that we are members one ofanother. There is no other nation where this is required as it is in the United States, and never here as now. Patriotism means an absolute blending of pride locally and pride nationally, in devotion locally and devotion nationally. There is no patriotism that ends with state or sectional pride or devotion, and there is no patriotism that does not begin with local and sectional pride and devotion.

The United States is an arch. We shout about the keystone of an arch as that which binds the stones into an arch, but remove every other stone from the arch and you have no arch. Each block is made for its place and is indispensable in its place. Georgia is the Empire State of the South as New York is the Empire State of the North. If Georgians whined because they were not New Yorkers and New Yorkers because they were not Georgians, neither of them would be American. No man is an American who is not a loyal Carolinian, Oregonian, or Utahan. Nothing but federal loyalty is the end of real patriotism. Look at Mexico, a pretended republic, at Russia, a would-be republic, and you see what America would be if local loyalty were not merged in federal loyalty.

Patriotic instruction must be concrete rather than abstract. It must be patriotism in action rather than merely in words. Patrotism is not lip service. Patriotism in school must begin with school spirit, broadening into community spirit, into state spirit, into sectional spirit, and then, with intensity heightened and thereto glorified, into American spirit. There is no place for individualism in patriotism. There is no loyalty, no patriotism in an individualist any more than there is in a slacker or a deserter. The student who is a slacker in athletic loyalty because there is something or somebody he does not like is training for disloyalty, if not treason, nationally. The student who sulks because there is something he does not like is a slacker in training for a traitor. Individualism in action is on the road to disloyalty if not to the rank of traitor. There can be no government built up by individualists. Traitors, like patriots, are often made in school. In every school every day there should be definite, explicit, emphatic teaching of the things worth stressing in American life. Industrially, commercially, financially, educationally, there are numerous things that should be ardently taught in every school. But over and above everything else every child should be taught the inherent difference between absolutism and democracy, and between democracy and anarchism. Unfortunately socialism means so many different things that it cannot be used as a school term, but anarchy is so distinctly vicious that every child in America should know that it is not democracy. Democracy is the only form of government that is representative of the will of the majority. Autocracy and anarchy are alike in their refusal to allow the people to rule. American patriotism can only mean the genuine triumph of real democracy.

F. CONFERENCE ON COMPULSORY EDUCATION, SCHOOL

CENSUS, AND CHILD WELFARE

ENFORCEMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CHILD

LABOR LAW GRACE ABBOTT, DIRECTOR, CHILD LABOR DIVISION, CHILDREN'S BUREAU,

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, WASHINGTON, D.C. In order to make the best use of this opportunity of presenting to the Department of Superintendence the problems which the Child Labor Division is meeting in the enforcement of the federal Child Labor law, Í should like to divide the time allotted to me into the discussion of (1) some administrative problems on which your help is needed, and (2) some general considerations as to the enforcement of child-labor and compulsoryeducation laws at this time.

With reference to the administrative problems the United States Child Labor act, which is the first step in national legislation affecting social and industrial conditions, fixes a minimum standard below which the nation has said it cannot afford to have local standards go.

It is generally agreed that a good child-labor law should establish an educational minimum, a physical minimum, and an age minimum which a child must reach before he is graduated from the training period of his life into the wage-earning period. The United States Child Labor law, as you know, does not fix any educational or physical standards. The age and hour standards which it lays down are not as high as the standards which the statutes of a number of states require, are practically identical with a larger number, and are higher than the standards of some states. It is assumed by many that only the southern textile states belong to this last group, but as a matter of fact the children of other states will prosper by the law. In the great industrial states of Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio the standards are as high or higher than the federal. In Connecticut and Rhode Island the children between fourteen and sixteen who are employed in industries shipping in interstate or foreign commerce have had their work day in effect reduced from ten to eight hours as a result of the law; in Maine and Pennsylvania the nine-hour day for little children in factories is a thing of the past. The canneries in which so many thousands of children are employed have been exempted under the state child-labor laws in such important canning states as Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, and Virginia. Instead of being exempt, canneries are specifically included under the terms of the federal act.

A number of states which have nominally a fourteen-year standard allow children to work on poverty-exemption permits granted usually by a county or juvenile court. The United States Child Labor act provides for no such exemptions. Vacation permits for children under fourteen years of age are also not recognized by the federal law.

The federal act contemplates administrative cooperation between federal and state officers. Section.4 of the act makes it the duty of the United States District Attorney to prosecute on any violations of the act reported by state factory, mining, and medical inspectors and local schoolattendance officers. Section 5 and Regulation 3, provide for the acceptance of work permits or certificates issued by local authorities in states designated by the United States Child Labor Board; such designation is to be made only if the requirements of the act and of Regulation 2 with reference to evidence of age are substantially complied with by the local certificating authorities.

In this connection it should be stated that the federal certificate is not a work permit as is the state certificate. It constitutes under Section 5 of the federal act a protection against prosecution to the employer who has procured it in good faith and employed the child in the belief that he was of the age given in the certificate.

I do not need to say to you that a double certificating system-by both state and federal authorities-is undesirable. It is not only wasteful in the expenditure of public funds, but entails additional expense and inconvenience for both children and employers. On the other hand, for a satisfactory administration of the United States Child Labor law, certain minimum standards must be uniformly observed.

As the designation is by states it is necessary that there be a state standard in certificate issuing. Owing to the fact that in most of the states the issuance of certificates is locally controlled, there is in most states no such thing as a state standard. I do not need to tell you that in such states our inspectors find that in one city the issuance of certificates is carefully and thoroly done, while in the next town the law is sometimes flagrantly violated by an issuing officer who does not believe in records, or evidence, or any system of checking up the children. It is perhaps not to be expected or even desired that there shall be absolute uniformity in these matters inside a state, but certainly the state should make sure that no community drops below a certain level. This can be accomplisht only by some measure of state supervision and state control. Inasmuch as the issuance of certificates is in the hands of the school authorities in thirty-four states, this means that some state supervision and control of the issuance of certificates by the local school authorities and of the local enforcement of compulsoryeducation laws are essential.

I cannot exaggerate the importance of this matter of the careful and thoro issuing of certificates, which is in most places under your control. It is thru the issuing of certificates that an opportunity is given to ascertain for every child before his employment whether or not he should be employed under the law. So far as the enforcement of the child-labor law is concerned, inspection is little more than a check-up on the effectiveness of the issuing system and a reenforcement of the community's respect for the law.

« PreviousContinue »