Terming the legislative authorization for pari-mutuel betting on horse and dog-racing as "politically and socially disturbing," the Harvard Teachers Record appearing today asks "wise leadership" in the classroom in the hope of "more stringent laws regulating or prohibiting lotteries, slot machines, and all games of chance."
The editor of the Harvard Teachers Record is Charles S. Thomas '97, associate professor of Education. Henry W. Holmes '03, professor of Education and dean of the graduate school of Education is advisory editor; associate editors are Howard E. Wilson, assistant professor of Education, and Phillip J. Rulon, assistant professors of Education.
Social Effect Stressed
The editorial continues:
"The ethics of the situation, as it is related for instance to betting on school and college games, we here leave out of account. We consider rather the social and economic effect of legalizing gambling.
Envy, Avarice Stirred Up
"The newspaper stories of huge sums won at sweepstakes fan the flames of personal envy and personal avarice. . . Life, the sophisticated may argue, is a mere lottery anyway; so come what may, we shall take a chance! . . .
"Unrestrained condemnation of the gambling spirit uttered in ex cathedra fashion by the more articulate critics is likely to prove unconvincing to pupils who themselves indulge in gambling or who have friends who easily accept it as a natural bit of behavior in the sport of the day.
History Gives Lesson
"More effective perhaps may be the help that history offers. If it can be shown that the more decadent eras have generally been marked by a more unrestricted display of the gambling impulse, that is one strong point registered. . .
"The whole question provides a proper topic for the English classroom or for the social-science classroom. In contrast with the flippant attitude of the passing hour, there may issue among youths and among adults a conviction for restraint that harmonizes with the mood of an earlier and more rigid national attitude toward gambling.