The major question in Chicago was whether or not the public and parochial schools, in which 500,000 children assembled daily, should be closed. On September 28, a conference was called by Health Commissioner Robertson concerning the question of closing the schools. The general consensus was in favor of keeping the schools open for the following reasons:
1. Schools should be open to provide a method of conveying information about the sickness among children and their families.
2. It would be possible to supervise the children and keep many of them under better conditions during school hours than if they were allowed to stay at home and play in the streets and alleys, or on the premises where sick persons resided.
3. The school system had organized staff of physicians and nurses for medical inspections of schools.
The decision to keep the schools open increased
the safeguards for keeping the children healthy.
remember we had to wear handerkerchiefs over our mouths when we went out
to play. When we came in our mother would wash them in boiling water
right away." I lost a couple of my friends during that time.."
-Cecelia Utsch (1912- )