Gingrich Calls Child Labor Laws 'Stupid'
Says poor students could work as janitors
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2011 5:23 PM CST

(Newser) – First, Newt Gingrich wanted Occupy protesters to "get a job." Now he says teenagers should do the same, even if it means discarding child labor laws, the Los Angeles Times reports. In a speech at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government on Friday, the presidential candidate said he would hire students in place of unionized school janitors. "The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they’d have pride in the schools, they’d begin the process of rising," he said. (See the video.)

He accused “the core policies of protecting unionization and bureaucratization" of “crippling” young people, and said children in poor neighborhoods are hindered by "child laws, which are truly stupid." Reactions are coming in, including a Huffington Post piece that notes how less-than-perfect janitorial work can hinder student study time. Tommy Christopher is more blunt on Mediaite: "There can’t possibly be people with whom this resonates, can there? ... Surely we can all agree that kids aren’t failing in school because they lack the opportunity to clean toilets."