:34 THE CLASS STRUGGLE ise of the school officials, that the law would be passed, and the boys given school credit for the school work of the whole term. If the bill were not made law these boys would be placed in a most unfair position. This premature dismissal of boys, and the need to redeem the lawless promise of school credit for school work which the boys never performed, appears to have been a deciding factor in leading Governor Whitman to sign the bill.
The younger the children whose educational opportunity has been cut all, the more irreparable, of course, is their loss.
One result of the pernicious activity of the county school superintendents was the dispersal of many teachers whose term of employment was thus arbitrarily reduced. While teachers were released from their ill paid work, they were loudly called for by the federal Government to enter its betterpaid service in many occupations. This has been a process of continued depletion of the teaching profession.
It has been generally assumed, that our public schools need not sufler from withdrawal of teachers as the schools in other belligerent nations have done, because our teaching force is so much more largely composed of women. The facts give, however, little support to this assumption. For women teachers are called upon for many varieties of clerical service. Although we have not yet sulfered the losses by death, disease and mutilation, which have reduced the worldng class in the other nations, the labor movement suffers here in ways of its own. Besides the accustomed obstacles to maintaining powerful unions the difierence ofJanguage, religion and nationality the war changes have brought new pressure, have given new significance to divergence of age, sex, and color.
The usual difficulties of the labor organizations are enormously increased by the influx into industry of Negroes previously rural, of women not hitherto employed outside the home and the schoolroom, and of children urged prematurely into wageearning in the name of patriotism.
CHANGING LABOR CONDITIONS 135 The drive against popular education has taken five distinct forms: a) stopping the building of schools by cities; b) withdrawing teachers for federal government work in the departments and in connection with the draft; c) withdrawing boys from attendance at high schools for agriculture and for industrial work; d) attempting to relax or abolish the state child labor and compulsory school attendance laws; e) relaxing enforcement where reactionary legislation was successfully opposed. This process of relaxing the children safeguards has been carried on by state, county and city school authorities in varying degrees, as well as by employers organizations.
In defense of the. rights of the children, there has been one long struggle of which the outcome is still uncertain. In 1916, Congress passed and the President signed the federal childlabor bill, to take elfect September 1, 191 This prohibits the shipment in interstate and foreign commerce of products of all mills, factories, workshops, canneries, mines and quarries in which children below the age of 14 years are employed, or children below the age of 16 years are permitted to work more than eight hours. Admirably enforced by the federal Children Bureau, this new measure is the means of stimulating state and local authorities to register births and to issue proper working papers to children of legalrworking age.
Before the date for its enforcement arrived, however, an injunction suit was begun by representatives of the cotton manufacturing industry to stop the work of the Child Labor Division of the Children Bureau. The suit was begun in Western North Carolina. The federal judge of that district held the new statute unconstitutional and enjoined its enforcement. This injunction is in efl ect, however, only as to that district. Purchasers in other parts of the country buying goods made in Western North Carolina, under the injunction, require manufacturers there to furnish the guaranty (required by the statute) that no child has participated in the production of the goods before its 14th birthday or longer thanreight hours in a day below the age of 16 years. In order to sell their goods,