March 07, 2005

Child Labor Important to Tennessee School Boards

Students have been working hard in the surrounding areas of Chattanooga, TN, to raise money for their county school boards' lawsuits. Coupon books were sold in the Fall. Box tops are collected daily. Car washes, a Christmas store, book drives. Need I go on? These hardworking kids are really reshaping the theory that child labor laws are enforced.

Some kids still believe that they have raised money for their own schools. Well, kind of. When you think about it, they're just putting the money back in the pot to pay for depositions and court costs. The money was there initially - ready to pay for books, playgrounds, art and music teachers and the correct number of homeroom teachers. It really was, and then 2.3 million dollars later, the school boards needed some cash quick.

With some good, old-fashioned smoke and mirrors, they realized that children and parents can run their own schools, that they only need one school nurse per 500 square miles (pointed exaggeration) and that despite all the money kids have raised - another 5 or 6 attorneys are more important than a sports track at the elementary school. You ask if parents are really running the schools? Well not completely, but just for some perspective, I've done over 45 hours of volunteer work this year - and that's small potatoes compared to most of the other volunteer log entries.

I guess the people in charge think it's good that our children are learning the lessons of working for what you need, balancing work and school like their college counter-parts. Those lemonade stands will help legal secretaries across the county plan worthy client lunches and purchase new dictaphones.

Just think, we only need to collect 23 million box tops to cover the court costs, so far, for one of these cases.


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