Replace janitors with children, says Gingrich

Newt Gingrich’s justification for his proposition that unionized school janitors should be replaced by children is his contention that his daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, spent a time as a part time janitor at the First Baptist Church in Carrollton, Georgia when she was 13.

I know a few things about janitorial work. My first job as an undercover investigator was as an industrial janitor.

Janitorial work is not simple unskilled labor. Not by a long shot. Additionally, as a first job for a child it’s not a job that is without danger. There are a number of questions I’d like to ask Newt Gingrich about his contention that schools can keep one full time janitor on staff and replace the rest with lots of children.

First of all, what caustic chemicals should children have access to and can they be trusted not to abuse them, use them in a dangerous manner, or harm themselves or others?



  1. I’m an old guy, (77) but my memories of school janitors are that they were “jack-of-all-trades” from fixing radiator problems, to toilet problems, jammed windows, to sorting out the ice on the playground. Not my idea of a safe and happy environment for a 13 year old. What we have to remember is that there was a long and hard fight to get kids out of mills, mines and factories, why should allow the thin edge of the wedge to get them back into the workplace?

  2. I’m not up on US politics but I would imagine that the US corporate world would love to see child labour back, think, you could pay them have the rate of an adult and they might not yet have enough savvy to form a union. It is always the “decent” ideas that have to fight for attention within the media. The mainstream press=corporate interests=politicians, they are all in the one club and you and I aren’t invited.

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