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School & Health: Our Nation's Investment
majority of states passed legislation mandating such instruction, which was often incorporated into the physiology and hygiene curricula. Physical training—commonly called "gymnastics"—also began to be introduced into schools during this period. The early leaders in the physical education movement had medical degrees, and there was much discussion about the new profession of physical education being a blend of the medical and educational fields. Physical training was often associated with instruction in temperance and hygiene; other topics of focus in the early years of physical education included anthropometrical measurement, gymnastic systems, athletics, folk dancing, and military drill—although military activities fell out of favor around the turn of the century (Lee and Bennett, 1985).
The range of school-linked health services was broad in the early twentieth century, and school-based medical and dental clinics sprang up to provide services, especially to indigent students. These services were sometimes overpromised and touted as a panacea for eliminating school failure and delinquency, providing equal educational opportunity, and reaching parents to make them more responsible citizens. Although free school clinics were frequently denounced by the medical establishment as socialized medicine, dentists tended to support free school dental clinics. Many dentists considered children to be "troublesome patients; moreover, parents demanded lower fees for children's care, and they often refused to pay the dentist's bill for that care" (Tyack, 1992).
The extent of the medical services provided was so broad that sometimes even minor surgery was performed in schools. For example, in New York City in 1906, when the parents of large numbers of children who needed their tonsils and adenoids removed could not afford carfare to the nearest dispensary, several volunteer physicians performed this surgery on 83 children at Public School 75. Unfortunately, a rumor subsequently spread that "school doctors were slitting the throats of school children as a prelude to a general massacre of the Jews," and several riots resulted. These riots were found to be instigated by the "snip doctors," private physicians who performed the same surgery for a fee and resented the schools doing the work for free (Duffy, 1974).
In the period between the 1890s and World War I, the impetus for many health and social services in education came from outside the schools. In the 1890s, schools in Boston and Philadelphia were early pioneers in establishing cooperative programs with philanthropic organizations to provide school lunches to fight malnutrition and hunger and their consequent effect on learning. In many cities, women's clubs provided school meals, transportation, and special classes for sickly or handicapped children, as well as education and recreation programs during the sum-