Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Newt Gingrich: "Use poor children as school janitors"

When I was 14 my father abandoned me and my mother, sister and brother. We got free lunches at school. To hide that from the other students I would not go to the cashier until there was no line but I still often got caught and the look on the faces of the other students was painful to me.

The memory of those times came back when Newt Gingrich proposed to eliminate or relax child labor laws, as was done in Maine this year, so that schools can hire poor children, ages 9 and up, as janitors to "mop floors and clean restrooms" in their schools.

It wasn't hard for me to imagine how I would have felt when other students saw me cleaning bathrooms in school. The work would not have bothered me but I would have been ashamed.

I’m more disappointed with the audiences that have applauded each time Newt has made this proposal.

Gingrich also said that poor children don't know what its like to work for money unless its illegal. More than 15 million American children are living in poverty. Does Newt really believe that none of them know what it is like to work?

Gingrich is leading in the polls. He may be leading not in spite of his proposal but because of his proposal.

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