Steps are to be taken by the London county council to place the cost of feeding necessitous school-children on the rates.
Urgent appeals were made by Lord Mayor Sir George Truscott, R. A. Robinson, chairman of the London county council, and other influential persons for subscriptions to the voluntary funds. The response has, however, been inadequate, and the funds now in hand, it is anticipated, will not be sufficient to feed the children until the county council resumes work again after the Christmas holidays.
At the meeting of the London educational committee a sub-committee's report will be presented recommending that representations be made to the board of education that an order for the power to levy a rate should be issued. It is intended that the power to take the necessary funds - estimated at $50, 000 - from the rates should be used only if there is a shortage of money during the recess.
The education (provision of meals) act gives powers where voluntary contributions are insufficient to spend money from the rates for the provision of meals within the limit of a half-penny rate.
Drinking fountains of a sanitary type, which require no cups, should be liberally provided for school-children. The ordinary drinking-fountain, with one cup for the use of all children, is unsanitary in the extreme and goes a great way toward making epidemic cases of diphtheria, mumps and whooping-cough, not to mention the possibility of communicating the bacilli of tuberculosis from lip to lip. In a school building children coming from all parts of the school district mingle together for a few hours, then separate, and if one child is affected with a communicable disease, great danger exists of its spreading to others, thence to the whole district.
As water is a well-known channel of infection, and drinking-cups a convenient mode of infecting the water or communicating a disease by direct contact, the use of drinking-cups, or fountains which require the use of them, should give way to the sanitary drinking-fountain.
In the advanced schools and colleges many of the requirements for primary schools may be dispensed with. For instance, swimming-pools and showers will not be necessary unless forming part of the gymnasium outfit. Further, kitchens may well be dispensed with, and the toilet accommodations can be grouped together in toilet rooms, forming tiers on the several floors. Outside of these exceptions what has already been said about primary schools will apply almost equally to advanced schools.
Fire lines will be found desirable in all school buildings of whatever grade, and in college buildings special plumbing fixtures are required in the various departments, such as in the chemical laboratory. Some of these fixtures will have to be lined with lead, with the seams burned instead of soldered. When designing plumbing for such purposes, however, the best way is to consult with the professors of the different departments and learn their various requirements.