Exclusive: Special Needs Kids Being Taught That Child Labor Isn’t So Bad After All (IMAGES)

Courtesy of Schools.nyc.gov

Courtesy of Schools.nyc.gov

Earlier this year, the students at P.S. Q004 in Queens, New York were given an assignment to write about the pros and cons of child labor. The results are chilling (transcribed from letters pictured below):

Dear Mom and [redacted],

There are many benefits of child labor. They make money. Child labor gives them career training. Child labor helps children to have a job opportunity. Because of child labor, we have cheap goods. Them getting money helps them get clothing, food and shelter. Child labor is less expensive. Child labor helps them get ideas for a job to make more money.

While a single essay celebrating “cheap goods” might be an outlier, it was not an isolated incident.

Dear Daddy, Grandma and [redacted],

There are many good things and bad things about child labor. I’ll tell you the pros and cons. The cons are kids have to work in dangerous jobs, such as being soldiers, making clothes and shoes, making glass, gold mining, farming and deep-sea fishing. They don’t go to school, which means they get no education, can’t read and write and can’t do math. They are very poor. That means they make little money, have little food and clothes, and they have no games.


One pro of child labor is career training. Children get ideas of what they want to be…

In addition to essays, there were several diagrams drawn by students to highlight the pros and cons as well:

School 3

Clearly, these children are being taught that child labor is not all that bad. The pictures were taken by a concerned parent who wishes to remain anonymous:

I was walking down the hall when I saw an entire wall covered in essays about child labor from several different classes. I was shocked! I didn’t say anything because I don’t want to get my kid into any trouble but it disgusted me. I hope my child isn’t taught that garbage when he reaches those grades.

A more troubling aspect is that P.S. Q004 is a school devoted to special needs children. Among the student body are children with emotional problems, learning disabilities and autism. All of whom are at risk of being relegated to menial jobs. In this light, teaching them that degrading work has an “upside” takes on an even more distasteful tone.

In a rational world, this cannot possibly be considered “job training”

When contacted for a statement, the school declined to comment.