SUMMARY OF THE DISCUSSION
CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION AND EUGENICS
Hotel Dolmonico, March 20th, 1937
Eugenic Education in the Secondary Schools.
Dr. Alfred W. Stearns. Headmaster Emeritus, Phillips Andover Academy, presiding.
Dr. Stearns, in opening the session, said that it was called to consider the possibility of including the study of eugenics in the curriculum of American schools. He spoke of the injury which had been done to the eugenic movement by the exaggeration of earlier eugenic propaganda. There should be a place in the schools for a conservative presentation of established facts without too much emotional bias and without excesses.
Dr. Stearns then introduced Dr. William H. Holmes, Superintendent of Schools, Mt. Vernon, N. Y., who read a paper on "Eugenics and the Public Schools." Dr. Holmes took as his premice [sic] that children should be born in good homes, where they will have a good environment for their development. To help bring this about, the public schools are fostering the following activities:
(1) Parent organizations and parent education meetings. This movement has only made a beginning but is destined to grow.
(2) Nursery schools. Several of these have been established by the W. P. A. in various relations to the public schools. They care for young children and provide advantageous facilities for group and individual conferences with parents. (Dr. Holmes did not mention another great eugenic advantage, namely, that they provide the mother with reasonable periods away from the constant care of her children.)
(3) Psychiatric clinics, connected with the public schools, and which are of value in adjusting parents as well as children.
(4) School medical services, providing free medical examinations and a report on physical defects to the parents, as well as free nursing services in many cases.
(5) Special instructions by qualified physicians in social hygiene, which gets better results than are obtained by assigning this subject to regular teachers in the school.