WAGE—EARNING CHILDREN. 75 
out by the stamping-works ? or than the maintenance 
of the families of those who will be superannuated at 
thirty-five, because they are now allowed to do in the 
clothing-shops the work of men, in the years when they 
ought to be laying up a store of energy to last a normal 
lifetime ? 
The key to the child-labor question is the enforce- 
ment of school attendance to the age of sixteen, and the 
granting of such ample help to the poorest of the work- 
ing children as shall make our public schools not class 
institutions, but in deed and in truth the schools of the 
people, by the people, for the people. Only when every 
child is known to be in school can there be any security 
against the tenement-house labor of children in our great 
cities. 
The legislation needed is of the simplest but most 
comprehensive description. We need to have : (1) The 
minimum age for work fixed at sixteen ; (2) School 
attendance made compulsory to the same age ; (3) Fac- 
tory inspectors and truant officers, both men and women, 
equipped with adequate salaries and travelling expenses, 
charged with the duty of removing children from mill 
and workshop, mine and store, and placing them at 
school ; (4) Ample provision for school accommoda- 
tions ; money supplied by the State through the school 
authorities for the support of such orphans, half orphans, 
and children of the unemployed as are now kept out of 
school by destitution. 
Where they are, the wage-earning children are an 
unmitigated injury to themselves, to the community 
upon which they will later be burdens, and to the trade 
which they demoralize. They learn nothing valuable ;