_______Why Should Our Children Suffer? 267
nervous strain of which the defective sight is an expres sion produces in them a similar condition. In classes of the same grade, with the same lighting, the sight of children whose teachers did not wear glasses has always been found to be better than the sight of children whose teachers did wear them. In one case I tested the sight of children whose teacher wore glasses, and found it very imperfect. The teacher went out of the room on an er rand, and after she had gone I tested them again. The results were very much better. When the teacher re turned she asked about the sight of a particular boy, a very nervous child, and as I was proceeding to test him she stood before him and said, "Now, when the doctor tells you to read the card, do it." The boy couldn't see anything. Then she went behind him, and the effect was the same as if she had left the room. The boy read the whole card.
Still better results would be obtained if we could reor ganize the educational system on a rational basis. Then we might expect a general return of that primitive acuity of vision which we marvel at so greatly when we read about it in the memoirs of travellers. But even under existing conditions it has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that errors of refraction are no necessary part of the price we must pay for education.
There are at least ten million children in the schools of the United States who have defective sight. This condi tion prevents them from taking full advantage of the ed ucational opportunities which the State provides. It un dermines their health and wastes the taxpayers' money. If allowed to continue, it will be an expense and a handi cap to them throughout their lives. In many cases it will be a source of continual misery and suffering. And