Signs of the Times

[The San Diego (Cal.) Union]

Hundreds of San Diegans will approve the protest of George W. Vansycle against the sort of "health instruction" in the public schools that instills the fear of disease in the minds of little children. He mentions a specific instance in which, it is said, a "health teacher" told the pupils of a class that the "sleeping sickness" is now "prevalent in the eastern states," that "it is due to follow the influenza," and that it will "arrive" in San Diego this spring.

Making every allowance for possible errors of statement in the transmission of this report of what the teacher said to these young children, there is still enough substance upon which to base the protest uttered by Mr. Vansycle. There is no good evidence that there is a "sleeping sickness" prevalent anywhere except in the wilds of Africa; nobody of absolute authority has said that "it follows influenza"—and if they did, other equally absolute authorities would deny it; and certainly this "health teacher" has no authority for a statement that "it will arrive in San Diego."

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May 3, 1919

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