MARCH 17, 1958
NEW YORK—I had the pleasure of seeing Helen Hayes, Richard Burton, and Susan Strasberg in "Time Remembered" last week.
It is light and charming—nothing much to the play, but a wonderful vehicle for the main actors, particularly Miss Hayes, who is a charming, entrancing duchess. And how pretty Susan Strasberg is! Altogether I found my evening very pleasant and not taxing either on my intelligence or on my emotions.
The snow on Friday morning disrupted a plan I had made to go to Washington and speak at a CARE luncheon in Mrs. Henry Grady's home. I felt sorry to back out, but I had an evening engagement here and had to make a midnight train to Pittsburgh, so I did not dare risk not getting back to New York in the late afternoon.
These are the times when the weather plays havoc with all my plans and I feel guilty but perfectly incapable of doing anything about it. It is obviously impossible to foretell whether the weather will clear or will continue to be uncertain and end by making it impossible for me to make a return trip!
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I have just been asked to visit one of the new schools set up for problem children in New York City.
I cannot help feeling that this whole setup is a very bad mistake, particularly since reading the remark made by Superintendent of Schools William Jansen that these children were suspended because the Board of Education got mad at one children's court judge. That is no reason for planning a program to handle children.
There is a certain amount of childishness which is afflicting the Board of Education, and as you read the story of the particular case which annoyed the board, you realize that it never took the trouble to find out the facts. It just reacted with annoyance and the poor children pay.
Judge Justine Wise Polier of the Children's Court has proved by her record that she is no sentimentalist but a very careful and wise friend of the youngsters appearing before her. She has no sense of their being enemies, trying to deal justly with each one.
These children have made mistakes. They require punishment sometimes, guidance frequently. But I am quite sure that Judge Polier would not act in any case on a purely emotional irritation.
Perhaps all of these children who have been suspended deserve it. They are going to cost the city a great deal more than if they had been kept in their original schools and some arrangements had been made to give them extra guidance and supervision.
I do not think New York City can afford the special schools now being set up and I wish that some other solution, more in keeping with the children's interests, had been found.