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Amish Challenge Child Labor Laws

Religion IN BRIEF

December 05, 1998|Associated Press

CHURCHTOWN, Pa. — A 15-year-old Amish boy and his family are in a legal tug of war with federal child labor watchdogs. The dispute involves Daniel Mark Smucker's work around heavy presses in a harness factory, as well as other work by Amish children.

"We believe that forced idleness in this age to be detrimental to our long-standing Amish way of raising our children and teaching them to become good productive citizens," Christ K. Blank, national chairman for the Old Order Amish Steering Committee, told Congress this spring.

The House approved a measure this fall to ease child labor laws for Amish youths working in sawmills and wood shops, but the Senate has not acted.

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