Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Scientific Studies, News, Show Students Should Not Be Put To Work as Janitors

(LGF: Newt: Fire the Union Janitors, Put Kids to Work Cleaning Schools ) First of all, students need time to study. Study is the base of the word student. Yes I know a racist will say that minority students don't study. That's not really the way it is. Most do. I know a lot of them.

And anyone who supports such an idea had better be working themselves. Your uncle on "disability" better not be bringing any of Newt's arguments up without a rejoinder back.

Beyond studying, teens and preteens also need to play, explore and be a little wild with their own age friends according to National Geographic: The Teenage Brain. If they don't they don't learn the skills to get along without their parents and with new partners in life, love, and work. It hurts their ability to get a real job if they don't have time to hang out and learn to trust others. So, guess who's staying at home with Mom and Dad for many years after they'd like some privacy, the chance to convert the bedroom, or to get a cheaper house.

Yet, Newt would like to lock some of our children, maybe yours, maybe not, into a heavy work regime. Lets check out how that works. An earlier report at the LA Times (also based on the results of a scientific study) said that those teens who have lots of friends and extended hours of socialization are the ones who settle into college, work, and life better. Those with few to no friends in high school, or who have no time to hang with them, are the ones likely to fall into drug or alcohol dependency or other dangerous behavior. Yeah, probably it means the same thing as "The Teenage Brain" report, but is a little more explicit about later problems with the squelching of a normal teenage life. Again, maybe your child won't be in this position, but any young person or adult falling into dependency makes your city and your family's life more dangerous.

Here in the Los Angeles area, a young woman who never seemed to have taken drugs went to an ATM in a good neighborhood during the day and became the victim of a habitual drug addict just because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The parents lost their precious daughter though they and she had done everything right.

BTW, a commenter at Little Green Footballs also notes that union janitors are skilled at what they do. They know how to do it in a manner that won't harm themselves or other people at the school. Do we really want to substitute teens and preteens for for that? Newt talks about a master janitor managing all the youngsters desperate for money. How is this person supposed to do the dangerous stuff while teaching a bunch of kids how to clean properly and monitoring them?

In one fast food restaurant recently the poorly trained staff (of adults) finished cleaning a bathroom leaving it sparkling, but some chemical combinations are deadly. In a while, two women went to use the restroom, and only one was carried out alive. She was unconscious but as far as I've heard, she lived. The other woman didn't survive the chemical brew that apparently had created a killer gas. This isn't too hard to do. I don't know what the staff at that restaurant used, but ammonia mixed with chlorine will kill and most people don't even know what's in many of the combination sprays and cleansers people use around the tiled domain. Try mixing any of those (say by spraying a second chemical on the same surface as an earlier one) and you might create something that spells disaster.

I'm also sorry to see a group of children being singled out as "not having a work ethic". As I told people on Twitter they should go into any big box store or other workplace paying minimum wage and see who are busting their butts to serve others and keep their jobs. I can tell you that most of them don't look like Newts kid's, but are mostly look like they are from lower middle class, or poverty. So please don't talk about "work ethic" in the poor. They may have a parent or two on disability, in prison, or missing. Why should that be a sentence of a life time of poverty? We know these days that at least two years of college and hopefully 4 will truly enhance a person's chance to make a decent living. A student grant to get through community college, and later a local state college isn't that expensive and could put a young person on track to make a more stable life than their parents knew. Nope, Gingrich wants them, not studying in middle and high school, but asking the head janitor if they should clean the toilets or scrub the floors, now.

Though Gingrich didn't describe his "poor students", we know he's thinking about, mostly dark skinned students. The people to whom he directs his BS have been raging for years that minorities were gaining on them and on their darling kids couldn't keep ahead of "those people". What a way to stop that progression. Lets make the poor kids work for money instead of having adequate time to study and socialize, meanwhile cutting back aid to the parent(s). (In fact, in Maine a welfare cutback and loosening of child labor laws were proposed at nearly the same time and I believe both proposals passed making it more likely that child labor will have to pay for family bills.)

Suddenly, the children of the middle class have a chance to keep their advantage. Whew! Thank you, Newt!

Other commenters at LGF noted that extensive child labor could break minimum wage laws and hurt adults and their families. But, Newt does know how to frame an argument to be mean and creepy. I guess his followers like that.