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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: A grand jury found the city’s schools were hotbeds of immorality and came up with a list of the possible reasons

 (S-R archives )
(S-R archives )

A Spokane County grand jury reported that it found conclusive evidence of immorality and drinking in Spokane’s grade schools and high schools.

“The testimony showed conclusively that Judge Webster was justified in calling an investigation,” the grand jury reported. “… Immorality exists in the grade schools and the high schools of this city; but the last majority of school students are above reproach.”

As for the immoral minority, the grand jury spread the blame around. The report cited the following contributing factors:

  • Indifference by parents about the conduct of their children.
  • Automobile joy-riding.
  • Public dances, especially those at “country dance halls and roadhouses.” Stringent laws should be passed for the licensing of such dances, the report said.
  • “Noodle joints.”
  • Fashion shows and “style shows” at high schools. Those events, sponsored by local businesses, fostered “extreme style in the matter of dress.” The jury said “simplicity of dress should be encouraged.”

The grand jury encouraged school officials to be more “attentive” to these problems. The jury did not agree with Judge Webster’s proposal to segregate the high schools by gender, but warned that such a proposal could be put before voters if “conditions do not improve.”

Also on this day

(From the Associated Press)

1981: Legendary reggae artist Bob Marley died in a Miami hospital at age 36.

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