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Newt Gingrich and the Child Labor Laws

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    Now Newt wants to fire all the elementary and high school janitors and replace them with students at slave labor wages ... really, Newt?

    A janitor or custodian, by the majority of school standards, provides a safe, clean, healthy and secure environment for students, educators, and other staff members If Newt thinks janitors should be fired and students hired at slave wages to replace them, he needs to give this a read and understand what the job actually entails. 
    Janitorial / custodial responsibilities students might be able to handle: Dust chalkboards and chalk trays, Empty class room waste baskets, Dust mop / sweep classroom floors(that’s about the extent of it, but not the end of the job)
    Janitorial / custodial responsibilities, the rest of the story:Scrub “waste” and “drippings” from seats and toilet bowls and exterior of bowls with caustic chemicals and sanitizers, Ditto, urinals and surrounding walls,Clean and sanitize sinks, mirrors and surrounding walls, leaving faucets and handles shining,Re-load soap, paper towel, and T-P dispensers, Knowledge of the use for a pumice stone, Mop bathroom floors with cleaning/ sanitizing solution (wet mop weighs 15 to 20 lbs) leaving floor clean and safely dry
    I’ll bet you think that’s the end of it … you are such a dreamer … more of the rest of the story: Climb 10 foot ladder with 4 foot light tube to change burned out lights (or ballasts),Clean / sanitize desk tops and chairs where students have spilled snacks / lunch, written notes with permanent marker and crayons, and scrape gum and buggers from under chairs, desk lids and book shelves.Wet mop classroom floors or vacuum if carpeted,Clean windows and door jambs of handprints and unknown sticky residue,Repeat the routine for staff rooms teacher offices and principal and counselor offices,Empty 100 lb + waste bins from cafeteria and kitchen, Clean / sanitize cafeteria tables and chairs or benches where students have spilled snacks / lunch, written notes with permanent marker and catsup, and scrape gum, buggers, and food fight and ‘barf’ remains from tables and floors,Mop kitchen and cafeteria floors with cleaning/ sanitizing solution leaving floor clean and safely dry,Buff hard surface floors to a mirror shine incase of surprise visit from parents or board members or other “dignitaries” so it looks like no one has been there since.

    In order to perform the preceding, a janitor / custodian must have the following  minimum knowledge and skills:  Clean, strip, repair and maintain hard and carpeted surface floors,Clean, screen, resurface hardwood gymnasium floors, Operate and maintain gas or electric high speed and automatic scrubbers and buffers and carpet shampooers, Be able to change ballasts and make unlicensed electrical repairs without getting electrocuted, Be computer literate in order to keep maintenance and use records and order supplies, generate spreadsheets and mail, etc, Be able to make emergency plumbing repairs (beyond a plunger and snake), Understand and know how to deal with potential blood borne pathogens and body fluids and be trained in basic first aid and CPR, Know how to deal with chemicals and safe dilution procedures, Know “Lock Out - Tag Out” procedures

    This is only a basic list of duties and knowledge required to be a janitor / custodian. And then … when summer comes and students, teaching staff and administrators are absent for two and a half months … the work gets really intense !

    Have students do the “janitorial” jobs … I think not … at least not until the NEWT or anyone that thinks it's a brilliant way to reduce the cost of education, gives it a good weeks worth of labor himself.

     

    By the way this is the job I did for eleven years, my husband did it for fifteen years in the same school district.