CHILD labor cannot be ignored as a vital factor in the present economic crisis. Children are leaving school and going to work at a time when millions of adults are jobless and many of these children are acting as the sole support of their families because their fathers and older brothers and sisters are unemployed. While it is true that the number of gainfully employed children has fallen off in the past two years, this decrease measured against the decrease in all wage-earning shows that child labor has only kept pace with the drop in adult employment during the depression.Continue Reading →
One of the primary purposes of the National Industrial Recovery Act is to increase employment opportunities. For this reason, if for no other, a 16-year-age minimum should be incorporated in every code. All of the important child-labor industries that have definitely submitted codes have done so, and President Roosevelt’s blanket code, which is operative only until December 31 and which depends upon voluntary acceptance, specifies a 16-year age minimum except for non-manufacturing industries where children 14 to 16 years may work for 3 hours a day.Continue Reading →
In the first days of hope for an early strike settlement, it seemed that the regular staff of the relief organization might be able to “absorb” the extra load. But as soon as the first peace parley failed the scene took on a different color. On that day, the office swarmed with applicants for relief; many could not be taken care of at all; facilities were inadequate; feelings were tense.Continue Reading →
Miss Bailey Says…
We have to park our principles sometimes in the face of the realities of family situations where the only cash is what children earn. What can a worker do, for instance, about:
A ten-year-old boy who peddles pencils downtown at night to get money for movies, roller-skates and hot dogs?
A family that bare-facedly lies about the ages of children too young to work but whose earnings are desperately needed?
A boy of seventeen, oldest of a turbulent flock who gets his first job, and a pretty good one, and leaves home to live on his own?
A docile girl of eighteen, oldest of six and only one working, who gives her father, for family purposes, every penny of her meager weekly wage??Continue Reading →
A stirring chapter in the history of U. S. education—the Americanization of refugees from Europe—as observed by a writer who recently visited classrooms and agencies in a number of communities.Continue Reading →
In 1861, the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina fell to the Union army. Faced with defeat, the entire white population fled, leaving their homes, belongings, and ten thousand slaves. Towne arrived on the Sea Islands in April 1862, one of the first Northern women to go south to work during the Civil War. She participated in the Port Royal Experiment, the first large-scale government effort to help former slaves. The teachers who went south sought not only to teach the freedmen how to read and write, but hoped to help them develop socially and morally. They saw themselves as missionaries who would “bring the light of God’s truth” to people they assumed were in need of such enlightenment.Continue Reading →
America’s dismal handling of child welfare concerns weighed heavily on Edwards, which led her to the International People’s College in Elsinore, Denmark. There – in 1931, during a six-month fellowship awarded by the American Federation of Labor (AFL) – she studied a wide range of areas with a concentration on child welfare legislation and industrial relations. Legendary labor leader, A. Phillip Randolph, who headed the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was a mentor to Edwards and was key to her receiving the fellowship.Continue Reading →
I WONDER how many of you have Miss Abbott’s annual report of the Children’s Bureau. The part relating to child labor is distressing. Miss Abbott tells us that there was a steady increase in child labor during the three years preceding the present period of depression and unemployment. According to reports from sixty cities in thirty-three states, 220,000 full-time working certificates were issued to children between fourteen and eighteen years of age in 1929, as against 150,000 in 1928.Continue Reading →
At times Helen Keller found her college experience frustrating and exhausting, but she gloried in the knowledge she gained. Perhaps even more satisfying to Keller were the new social roles claimed by college-educated women. In this excerpt, Keller discusses the benefits of attending college—an opportunity that had only recently become available to women.Continue Reading →
As interest in child study has increased, educators are beginning to see that one course of study and discipline cannot be fitted to all pupils found in our public schools. Even to-day children unable to keep up to grade are not infrequently accused of indolence or laziness, when the backwardness is due to some mental or physical defect. For many years in this country efforts have been made to care for those who are too defective to be in school, but it is only recently that attention has been given to those who are mentally and physically subnormal. Perhaps none have been more misunderstood than the mentally deficient. Through neglect, these children will degenerate into the ranks of the defectives and the delinquents; through individual training, some can be saved for the social body and the condition of all can be improved.Continue Reading →