Resources for Teachers and Students
Kids as young as 12 are still working in U.S. tobacco fields. And they're doing it willingly because they need the money. But working in fields can cause harsh side effects since they're working around poisonous nicotine and pesticides. It is also completely legal under federal child labor laws, which bar kids younger than 14 from most jobs but allows them to work in agriculture an unlimited number of hours, outside school hours.
Class discussion: Should young kids be working long hours in U.S. fields? Why or why not? How dangerous is farm work? How does it compare to the risks of other jobs? Why has agriculture been excluded from U.S. child labor laws? Should other jobs be open to kids under 14 or 16? How do other countries deal with child labor? Should the United States ban products made by children? Would you be ready to spend more for food, electronics, clothing and other goods that were not produced by children?
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