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bring the boy to the notice of the authorities, and that there is a well-defined danger in forcing him into association with as bad, or with worse companions.
Second, in spite of poor environment and a great many other causes that we know of, the home life of a boy is in a majority of cases the strongest and most sustained influence for good in his life. The influence of a mother, or elder sister or brother, is often of first importance in preventing the boy from going utterly to the bad; and as it is impossible for the school to furnish a satisfactory substitute for family life and the affection of one member of a family toward another, a serious step is taken when the boy is removed for a period of time from the influence of his home.
Third, no boy really likes to be sent to a training school. There is a real fear in his heart, partly natural and partly created by artificial means, of being sent there. When that has actually happened, whatever deterrent value there has been in that fear has gone, and the boy quickly adapts himself to his new surroundings. He realizes that he has lost the good opinion of those at home, and turns for sympathy to his companions who share with him a similar experience, and a bond of fellowship is created that “carries on" after the boy has left the school and makes it very difficult for the boy to avoid the boys he met at the school, and to associate with a better group.
Fourth, a boy has got to live his life, of from forty to sixty years, in the community. We learn by doing: A bricklayer becomes a bricklayer by laying bricks, and it should be possible for a boy to learn how to live in a community by living there. Life in a training school is very different from life in a community and although it undoubtedly has value in carrving a boy through the unstable period of adolescence, it is, in one sense, a break in his training which should not happen unless absolutely necessary.
But it had to be, and the boy is at the school and the responsibility is ours of seeing to it that as far as it lies in our power we will so fill his time with useful activity that he will be helped rather than hurt by his stay there. To this end, I submit the following ten minimum qualifications.
Location. The school should be located on a site of at least 100 acres, and 500 acres would be better. A high elevation insuring a view of an attractive character is a distinct asset to those who have to live there. It should always be located adjacent to a body of fresh or salt water, so that the physical and moral values that can be developed from exercises on and in the water are possible. It is unfortuante that this point is often overlooked. A swimming pool, although very useful is not as good as the out-ofdoor body of water.
Cottage plan.-The cottage plan should be adopted, the cottages to house from fifteen to thirty boys. Homelike and practical, they should still be part of a plan that makes the complete school dignified and impressive from an architectural standpoint. The sewage system, and all plumbing, should be of the most modern character. Protection against fire should be such that any first-class fire insurance company would be willing to insure all buildings if called upon to do so.
Officers of school.-All officers of the school, from the superintendent down, should feel that their work with the boy is to be educational and not "penal" in character; that their point of view and methods must approximate that of a physician toward his patient; and that their business is to find, not so much what particular offense, or crime, the boy has committed, but what is the matter with him, what causes underlie his delinquency, and how conditions can be altered so that the boy becomes an asset instead of a liability.
It is also important that they feel the responsibility of keeping alive in the boy an appreciation of and affection for all social ties that have been wholesome and active in his life outside the school, so that when he is ready to return to his home the folks who really wish him well will be willing to help him in his effort to “make good." Above all, it is important that the officers of the school recognize that they are dealing with an individual delinquent, differing in many respects from any other boy that they have previously studied, and therefore to be treated as an entirely new problem.
An entering collage. After a boy has been welcomed in a friendly way to the school, a number of questions sufficient to satisfy the public record should be asked and he then should be placed for a few days in an entering cottage, and examined carefully for personal cleanliness and possible disease. While there, the necessary statistics should be taken and the extent of his delinquency ascertained. He then should be assigned to the cottage in which he might be expected to make the proper amount of progress, due regard being paid to his chronological, pubescent, and mental age.
Examinations. During the first week of his stay at the school a boy should receive a thorough physical, mental, and social examination. That these examinations be made within a few days after a boy is received is important. The boy cannot be intelligently put to work or placed in school until this information is obtained.
The mental tests are invaluable from the standpoint of an officer of the school who, for example, will be able to understand the conduct of a boy who may have eighteen years of chronological age but only the intelligence of a boy of eight years. It prevents the officer from becoming impatient when such a boy does many of the childish acts that an eight-year-old boy is apt to do. The social examination, together with the physical, and mental, will make possible a preliminary diagnosis on which a working plan for treatment may be based.
Treatment. There should be a definite attempt to administer treatment and to record the results of such treatment. This is at present rarely done except in a haphazard way, and many times all that the boy gets is group treatment, in group doses, and to large groups.
From the physical standpoint a great deal can be done. For example, deformities and physical defects can very often, and whenever possible must be, corrected. Food values can be studied, with proper diet served and eaten in a proper way. A proper amount and quality of sleep must be insisted on. To insure this, an officer should be seated in the dormitory of each cottage so that the boys will go to sleep at once, and not be tempted to stay awake to indulge in the kind of initiations and horse play that some boys of limited intelligence and poor moral fiber are always ready to indulge in if not under adequate supervision. This night officer also should see to such matters as ventilation, fire protection, etc. The employment of this officer is certainly, to my mind, a minimum requirement, and the governing body of any training school of this character is obligated to see that any boy who comes under its care should have the opportunity for undisturbed sleep.
Health and self-respect should be increased by means of proper clothing. Wellmade clothing similar to that worn by ordinary boys in their own homes can and should be provided for this purpose, even if the expense is a little greater. Military drill and calisthenics are valuable, and should be included in a physical health program. Here, the ordinary civilian clothing should be changed for a smart uniform, and the boy be given instruction in how to stand and walk properly, how to obey orders, and so on.
How to play properly such games as football and baseball, and how to run and jump, should be taught. The game of "soccer" football makes available, at small cost, the best kind of exercise to large groups of boys. I have spoken of swimming elsewhere and the feeling of perfect physical health and self-respect that comes to any boy after he has had a swim should be possible for all our boys.
The mental and physical treatment that can be given by means of work done in a school of letters, and in the industrial department of a school, is absolutely necessary. In the school of letters the standard should be equal to that of the best public schools of the state in which the school is located, and the personnel of the teaching force should be made up of the most skilful special teachers that can be employed. The work in the industrial department might well include practical and theoretical instruction in such subjects as machine shop practice, carpentry, printing, steamfitting and engineering, rough construction work, electrical work, plumbing, masonry, brick and cement work, and plastering. In all this work the quality of instruction should be of high grade and the equipment adequate and practical. If the instructors, from time to time, receive instruction in how to instruct, the level of instruction will be raised, and will be kept up to date.
Instruction in how to repair shoes, mend and make clothing, how to wash and iron clothing, how to prepare, cook, and serve food, how to scour and scrub and keep quarters clean, how to act as office boys and hospital stewards, is of importance, and also has a utilitarian value from the standpoint of the school that will insure instruction being given along these lines to many boys. There is a danger here, that in carrying out some parts of this kind of work the interests of the school will be placed above that of the boy. This is a real danger and should be guarded against. Farm work, with up-todate machinery, a good herd of cattle, good horses, pigs, and poultry, should be provided for boys who like that kind of work, or whose physical, mental, and moral condition calls for hard work out of doors.
As the improper use of the leisure hours is one of the chief reasons for the delinquency of the boy, we must teach him certain activities that will help him, when he leaves the school, to spend his spare time in a wholesome way. Out-of-door work of the character of woodcraft, scouting, and hiking may be given to advantage, while a summer camp will also provide an invaluable opportunity to really get to know and to understand what a boy is thinking about, and to show him that he can have a very good time in a wholesome way by these means.
Religious training is a fundamental necessity in the reforming of the character of a boy. A chapel, set apart for religious services, should be provided and if possible kept entirely for that purpose. To use such a building for meetings and entertainments is a mistake. In order to emphasize the importance of religious duties, opportunity should be given to the boys to join the church of their faith, and to take part in its chief services, such as confirmation, first communion, etc., even to the extent of their being allowed to go home, dressed in civilian clothing, to receive those benefits. Such a privilege will be much appreciated by the parents, and be of spiritual benefit to the boys concerned.
There still remain a number of tests that can be given for the purpose of strengthening the good character of the boy. For example, when a "merit" system is in force, whereby a boy receives a certain number of marks, or credits, for his day's work, good conduct can be rewarded by extra credits. The boy who has spent six months at school,
and who has been of good behavior, might well be allowed to visit his home for one day. Such a visit makes a real test of the moral fiber of a boy. A steel locker assigned to each boy furnishes another test. No locks being used, a boy's own possessions, such as letters from home, photographs of his parents, prayer beads, and so on, furnish an opportunity for some boys to steal from each other. This temptation when resisted means a gain to the boy whose weakness is stealing; while, when not resisted it gives the boy who loses property an opportunity to learn how it feels to have his own property stolen from him. It also gives the boy who does the stealing a very good idea that it does not pay to steal. Such delinquencies, few in number, will be always detected and punished at once by the school authorities and by the public opinion of the group of boys to which the delinquent belongs.
There are many other tests of this character that can be given, but time and space prevent me from referring to them. Discipline must be maintained. Some people roll this sentence around their tongues, as if they were eating some very delicious sort of food. It really has got to be maintained, but it must be maintained in an intelligent manner, by use of the head rather than the hands, by the withholding of special privileges, and once in a great while, by the proper use of a slipper. This latter method has always seemed weak to me, but I have never been clever enough to do away with the necessity for it. If used at all, it should be in the presence of the head of the school, and by a master whose judgment and self-control is absolutely to be relied on. The frequent or improper use of this method of discipline cannot be too strongly condemned. It has probably made more anti-social individuals than any other one practice.
Among the school population there is usually to be found from 10 to 15 per cent who by bad conduct can discredit the school administration and prevent the majority of the boys from enjoying many privileges. For these boys a "discipline" cottage should be maintained. In this cottage a boy would be denied those privileges that would be his if he behaved himself in the larger school life. Supervision should be more rigid, work should take the place of play, and escape from this cottage should be only possible by exemplary conduct.
A Conduct Plan.-As the time approaches when the acid test of going out from the school to "make good" is to be applied, a final interview, of a series of interviews between the boy and his headmaster, or superintendent, should be held. At this interview, the boy should be led, in his own way, to express regret for his previous bad conduct, to promise to "make good," to discuss the weak and strong points in his character and in the environment to which he is to return, and to definitely plan a line of conduct that will help him to "make good" when back at work in the community.
Parole and after care. The school should be provided with a sufficient number of parole officers to make sure that each boy after being paroled from the school will be visited at least once each month. These officers are essential to the whole plan of reformation, because while bad habits and tendencies can be held in check by the routine and discipline of the school, the real test of reformation comes to the boy when he is back in the outside world.
Publicity. Through careful publicity concerning the purposes, ideals, and accomplishments of the school the public should be led to take an intelligent interest in the school which it supports from its public funds.
An accurate estimate of results.-The governing body of the school should insist on a system of records being kept over a number of years that will make possible an accu
rate measurement of the results obtained by the school. No mere opinion as to the number of successes or failures turned out over a given period should satisfy a supervisory body that is charged with the responsibility of investing over $500,000 every five years in an institution established for the purpose of reforming boys. It should know definitely whether the school is succeeding or not; and if it is not really doing the kind of work that it is established to do then new methods and new experiments should be tried to increase the percentage of successes and lessen the number of failures.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS OF A GOOD CHILD-PLACING AGENCY
There are three qualifications of a good child-placing agency: first, understanding the individuals with whom one works, both children and foster parents; second, applying this knowledge for the benefit of both in practical ways; and third, embodying the results of this knowledge into methods and general principles.
In making this study our first question must be, does this child need a foster home? Many children have been placed and are still being placed whose relatives would not only be able but glad to provide for him. Should we not know about every resource within the family before we decide to try to build up a new family circle for him?
Having established the fact that the child needs a foster home, let us see what we need to know about his family background. To many people an exhaustive investigation of heredity still needs explanation, but there are several justifications for it. We need to know who and what sort the relatives are so that later if the child is not to return to his own family we can tell him something of his history, a consideration which in our experiences with free and adoption homes is becoming more and more important. Moreover, we need to know with what relatives the child may safely be in touch. If the child is to be adopted the intelligent foster parents will want detailed information about his family. Also, and most significant, we cannot place a child intelligently without knowing what traits of mind and body have entered into his composition.
Most agencies would agree that we should have a record of a child's parentage, but this record if it is adequate cannot be contained on a blank six inches by nine inches on which only a few lines are left for all information about the parents and no space is provided for information about the living conditions. Such blanks are still the accepted forms of some agencies. We ought to know practically everything about a child's parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters. We should know the health of his family, their education, their tendency to disease of any kind, their occupations, their way of living, their reputation in the neighborhood, their ability to hold jobs and to save money, their moral character and, not least important, their personalities. We must remember that many of the children whom we place for adoption are so young that the only thing we can know about them is the stock from which they come.
Complete and thorough medical examinations of the child are imperative. Most agencies are doubtless making medical examinations, but the important point is, are these thorough or perfunctory? A complete examination cannot be made if the child remains clothed. Teeth should be carefully examined, eyesight, and hearing tested,