Speech at the Child-Saving Conference, January 30, 1902 (excerpt)



W. Lester Bodine Suggests Amendments to Protect Child Labor -- Conference Held at Hull House.

Changes in the compulsory education and factory laws to make them more effectual were recommended by W. Lester Bodine at Hull House last night. The occasion was the ninth annual child-saving conference, and 500 people were present. Mr. Bodine's suggestions were:

Require all children who work to furnish and have on file with employers a certificate from a principal of the school the children have attended showing that each child had completed its studies in the eighth grade.

Compel the attendance of children at school for the full school year instead of sixteen weeks.

Strike at those notaries public who willfully encourage false affidavits, and have their commissions revoked.

Make the penalty for employers who violate the child labor law more drastic than it is at present.

Miss Jane Addams wanted the laws amended to include newsboys and bootblacks.

"It seems awful to go to the heart of the city," she said, "and hear little, tiny boys yelling about murders or suicides or burglaries or other things that they should never even hear of."

Other speakers were Trustee Gallagher of the Board of Education and Ernest P. Bicknell.

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