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Make the Start Worthy of the Finish
Allen's How and Where We Live
An Open Door to Geography
is a beginners' book worthy to precede the leading series of geography textbooks in the schools today. It includes in one volume studies of food, clothing, shelter, and transportation; stories of foreign children; journeys through the United States. It paves the way for regional geography, it is planned for the open-book method, and it recognizes in every step the child's experiences. It suggests many things to do and it is plentifully and beautifully illustrated. Allen's How and Where We Live is an ideal book to precede
THE FRYE-ATWOOD NEW GEOGRAPHIES
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Section 1. The Congress shall have power to limit, regulate and prohibit the labor of persons under eighteen years of age.
Section 2. The power of the several states is unimpaired by this article except that the operation of state laws shall be suspended to the extent necessary to give effect to legislation enacted by the Congress.
This resolution was passed by a vote of 297 to 69 in the House and 61 to 23 in the Senate, or practically four to one in the House and three to one in the Senate. It must now go before the legislatures of the different states and be ratified by 36 of them before it becomes a part of the constitution.
What Does the Amendment Mean?
It means that the states will go right on making and enforcing their own child labor laws, but that Congress will also pass laws setting uniform minimum standards for the entire country. The federal law will have no effect upon state laws that set standards equal or superior to federal standards. But where the state standard is lower than the federal standard, the federal standard will prevail.
Under the federal child labor law of 1919, the maximum working day for children under 16 years of age in factories and canneries was 8 hours. Employers in states permitting a
Labor Association of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
nine or ten or eleven hour day for such children either reduced the day to 8 hours for such children or were compelled to pay a tax on their net incomes. In states that required a certificate of physical fitness or an educational qualification for an employment certificate, these requirements were still enforced by the states though the federal law did not require them. That is to say, the higher standard was enforced in any case, whether it was set by the state or by Congress. It will be so under any law passed by Congress under the power granted to it by this amendment.
The Eighteen-Year Limit
The 18-year limit was inserted for the sake of definiteness. The amendment might have read, “Congress shall have power to limit, regulate and prohibit the labor of children." But what is a child? Under various statutes a child is defined as a person under 18 years of age, under 17, under 14, under 10 and under 7, and in one case "a person who has not yet reached the age of discretion." Under that definition many people of mature years and some octogenarians could qualify as children.
Now, is the regulation of child labor to the age of 18 a radical extension of the power of Congress?
Every state legislature has power to regulate the labor of its citizens up to any age.
17 states now prohibit the employment of boys under 18 as night messengers.
10 states forbid the employment of boys under 21 as night messengers.
Over two-thirds of the states forbid the employment of boys or girls under 18 in hazardous employments.
44 states forbid the employment of women of any age in stores unless seats are provided. Convicts, even, are restricted in most states to a 10-hour or an 8-hour day.
Why Should We Have Federal Child Labor Regulation?
Because children are citizens. A citizen of any state is also a citizen of the United States. If any state refuses to provide conditions whereby its children may grow into strong, healthy, intelligent men and women, it is the duty of the nation to step in and see that these conditions are provided.
Because the laws of only 18 states measure up in all respects to the very low standards of the former federal child labor laws.
One state has for employment in factories and canneries an age minimum of only 12 years, and two states have no age minimum. Sixteen states permit children under 16 to work in mines.
Only 13 states require an eighth-grade education before a work certificate is granted; 2 require seventh grade; 9 require sixth grade; 4 require fifth grade; 2 require fourth grade; 7 require no special grade of education and in 10 states a child may be put to work without ever having attended school a day.
19 states have no minimum standards of physical fitness.
3 states permit children of 14 and 15 to work 9 hours a day in factories; 6 states 10 hours; 1 state 104 hours; 1 state 11 hours and 1 state 12 hours; and one state has no limit.
4 states have no prohibition of night work for children under 16.
The various state standards rose rapidly during the operation of the federal laws, but have advanced very little since the Supreme Court decisions declaring the federal laws unconstitutional. At the present rate of progress it will be many years before the backward states will have a fair degree of protection for their children, if ever. Georgia, the first state to act adversely on the amendment, permits many thousands of her children from 7 to 13 years of age to miss school entirely in order to work, and permits the employment of children under 16 years of age 10 hours a day in factories.
There are, also, certain interstate labor situations making it easy for exploiters of children to evade the laws of any individual state.
Manufacturers of New York may send their goods into New Jersey, Pennsylvania or any other state to be wrought on by children in homes or other sweat-shops and thus evade the
laws of New York state as well as the state into which the goods are sent.
Every year, upwards of two thousand children go from Philadelphia into the truck farms and cranberry bogs of New Jersey and miss a large part of their schooling because they are beyond the reach of Pennsylvania officers and not amenable to New Jersey school laws because residents of another state. In this way the schooling they receive is negligible and they develop rapidly into irregular, casual laborers or hoboes-ignorant and undesirable as citizens. Similar situations occur in the sugar beet industries of Colorado and Michigan.
Who Favor the Amendment? President Calvin Coolidge has publicly declared himself in favor of the amendment. All three of the national political conventions— Republican, Democratic and Independent-endorsed it in their platforms.
National organizations, including the N. E. A., the P. O. S. of A., the American Federation of Labor, the National Council of Catholic Women, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Federal Council of Churches, the National Consumers' League, the National Fraternal Congress, the League of Women Voters and about twenty other organizations are solidly behind the amendment.
Who Oppose Ratification?
The organized opposition comes largely from those who have a mercenary interest in the exploitation of little children. They are the people who oppose every attempt in any state legislature to raise the standards of child labor protection. They capitalize every form of fear and prejudice and ignorance. They repeat every argument that is urged by anybody against the amendment except the real one, which is the fear that its ultimate effect will be to diminish the profits of those who employ child labor in factories, canneries, quarries and other establishments.
They tell us now that child labor legislation is a matter for individual states and that it is wrong for the federal government to meddle with anything that a state wants to do with its children. But whenever a state legislature proposes to raise its standards of child labor these same people rush in and proclaim that any such regulation is a discrimination against local industries and puts them at a disadvantage in competition with similar industries in other states.
They tell us that it will take away the power of the several States to pass and enforce child labor laws and will discourage the states in bringing up their own standards. Fortunately there has been experience of the effect of federal child labor laws. During the period of operation of those laws, the states made greater advancement in the protection of working children than during any other period; the state labor officials welcomed the help of federal agencies; the federal officers did not go into the states where standards equal to federal standards were enforced, and there was complete co-operation between state and federal agencies.
The National Association of Government Labor Officials, representing most of the states of the Union, on May 4, 1923, passed a resolution urging Congress to submit a child labor amendment, and a year later in Chicago this same body passed a resolution urging the ratification of this amendment.
At the child labor conference in Washington in May, 1924, one after another of the chief labor officials of the country-among them those from Wisconsin, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Louisiana and other states -testified to the splendid co-operation between state and federal officers in enforcement of the federal laws.
They tell us that the constitution is a sacred document as handed down to us by the fathers, and that if this amendment is ratified the very structure of our government will be jeopardized. For the assurance of those who honestly fear that the constitution is in danger of harmful mutilation, it may be pointed out that the first ten amendments were made almost immediately after the original adoption of the constitution and are accepted by everyone as essentially a part of the original constitution and altogether desirable. The next two came very soon afterward and are altogether acceptable.
Now, in 120 years, with all the scientific progress and the social and industrial revolution of that period, only seven amendments have been made. This record, with the added assurance that comes from the safeguards thrown around the process of amendment-a two-thirds vote of each House of Congress and a later ratification by three-fourths of the states-does not warrant the fear that the country will go on a spree of constitutional amendment.
Some people tell us they don't like the 18th amendment and therefore they are against any kind of amendment. That position is as narrow and illogical as to say that because one doesn't like the tariff law he is against the passage of any more laws by Congress.
They tell us that it will create a huge body of high salaried enforcement officers who will swell enormously the public payroll and will swoop down upon the defenseless states, taking from them the privilege they now have of enforcing the child labor regulations. History refutes this. In the enforcement of the child labor act of 1916 by the Federal Children's Bureau only 51 employes were engaged and the total appropriation for this purpose for 1919, made just before the act was nullified by the Supreme Court, was $125,000. Instead of interference with state authority, there was complete co-operation and state legislation and enforcement were stimulated rather than retarded.
They tell us that if this amendment is adopted Congress will immediately pass a law prohibiting every person in the United States under 18 years of age from doing any work; that if this amendment is ratified it will be impossible for Johnny to milk the cow and hoe the garden or for Mary to wash the dishes and feed the hens; that "it will establish enforced loafing of the entire population of the country under 18 years of age."
Thousands of good citizens who either have never seen the amendment or have never read it discriminatingly are under the impression that these statements are true.
What Is the Real Truth?
In the first place, this amendment, if ratified, will not of itself change the status of any child in America. It will not make a lawbreaker of any employer who is now employing children legally or of any child now legally employed.
The amendment will merely give Congress power to pass a child labor law that will be constitutional. Congress is no more likely to pass an extreme or unreasonable child labor law than are the several state legislatures.
Congressmen's ears are always at the ground to sense public opinion. This is the great safeguard in a republic.
You may believe that all Congressmen are politicians; that they are grafters; even that they own shares of oil stock; but you will
never charge that they are an aggregation of half-wits; and none but a Congress of imbeciles would ever enact "a law to forbid the employment of any person in the United States under the age of 18," or a law that will establish "enforced loafing of the entire population of the country under 18 years of age."
What would happen politically to a Congressman who had voted for such a bill or to a President who had signed it?
Every one of these Congressmen knows and every one of their constituents knows that children ought to work at a proper age at suitable tasks and in the right way. Nobody has ever asked for a law that will prevent this. No state has ever proposed legislation restricting the employment of children on farms by their own parents and no federal Congress will take such a step. And yet the opponents of this measure are insidiously spreading this propaganda among the farmers of America and trying to make them believe that the ratification of this amendment means an invasion of their homes.
"What Can I Do?"
Pennsylvania teachers represent the best intelligence of their respective communities. They are trusted by children and parents as no other people are trusted. Let them tell the truth about the amendment to legislators who will vote upon it, and to citizens generally whose wishes those legislators respect, and thus assure ratification in Pennsylvania.
Crude teachers talk-talk entirely too much. Clever teachers do. Inadequate teachers strut, utter large language, look very severe, and announce with magnificent positiveness what they will stand and what they will not stand. They are a challenge, an incentive to every boy with manhood in him to put them to the test, to see how much of it is bluff. Nothing could be less promising for future peace of mind. Skillful teachers do not threaten and do not challenge to misbehavior. They begin their work with swift, businesslike activity; everybody is busy, very busy, before he fairly realizes it. And the work is novel and interesting. Able teachers govern by providing, not by suppressing, action. Instead of the utterly hopeless undertaking of trying to force live boys and girls to be spineless and passive, they substitute-from the first dayconstructive, controlled activity as a phase of learning, engaged in with the encouragement and guidance of the teacher and as a co-partnership between the teacher and all the pupils. -Peabody Journal of Education.
IN ENGLAND 301. YEARS AGO To Perswade Every One to Learne to Singe First it is a knowledge easely taught, and quickly learned where there is a good Master, and an apt Scoller.
2. The exercise of singing is delightful to Nature and good to preserve the health of Man.
3. It doth strengthen all the parts of the brest, and doth open the pipes.
4. It is a singular good remedie for a stutting and stammering in the speech.
5. It is the best means to procure a perfect pronunciation and to make a good Orator.
6. It is the onely way to know where Nature hath bestowed the benefit of a good voyce; which guift is so rare, as there is not one among a thousand, that hath it; and in many, that excellent guift is lost, because they want Art to expresse Nature.
7. There is not any Musicke of Instruments whatsoever, comparable to that which is made of the voyces of Men, where the voyces are good, and the same well sorted and ordered. 8. The better the voyce is, the meeter it is to honour and serve God there-with; and the voyce of man is chiefly to be employed to that ende.
Since singing is so good a thing
At the White House silence does not mean vacuity.-Time.