April 9, 1908


He is Sent to the Pest House -- One
Pupil Had Smallpox and Was
Permitted to Return to
School Too Soon.

The Park school, located at Twenty-fourth street and Central avenue, Kansas City, Kas., has been closed by the board of education on account of the prevalence of smallpox there. In the school are six teachers and 200 pupils. The step taken by the board was the first announced last night.

About three weeks ago Marguerite Gardner, 11 years old, was taken down with the disease, but little attention was paid to the matter by the authorities of the school, it is said, so when she reported for classes two weeks later she was admitted by the principal, C. I. Crippen, and allowed to take her accustomed place among the scholars. Several members of the Wallenberg family, living in the vicinity, were also affected, but they, with the exception of a grown daughter now working in a Kansas City, Mo., department store, were quarantined in the home.

Wednesday, April 1, Principal Crippen became violently ill while hearing a class at the school. He was taken at once to his home at 2313 North Fifth street, where the attending physician pronounced his case smallpox and he was removed to the pest house. Then it was the school board decided totake measures preventing the further spread of the disease in the Park school, so without waiting to inform the board of health the assistant principal was instructed to close the doors until it could be thoroughly fumigated.

"In my mind, action in this matter was not taken soon enough," said W. J. McCarty, a teacher who lives near the Park school last night. "Matters of this kind should be taken under the advisement of the school board as soon as reported, and should be reported by the principal without a moment's delay.

"It is evident that Marguerite Gardner was allowed to return to school too soon. Perhaps that was her parent's fault, perhaps the blame rests on the principal, the board of eduation or the board of health, if they knew of the cases. I understand all the affected ones are improving."

This is the first school to be closed because of smallpox in Kansas City, Kas., for several years. District 44, where it is located, is an outlying one. Yesterday afternoon all the class rooms were fumigated after a careful cleansing with lye water, and they will be fumigated several more times before the close of the week. Members of the school board say pupils may return there next Monday for recitation.