Can there be dueling definitions when it comes to protecting children?

Produced By: - August 24, 2023 1:08 pm

Here in Pennsylvania, Gov. Josh Shapiro thinks protecting children begins with a healthy breakfast.

Sounds reasonable.

The governor increased funding in his new budget so all of the state’s 1.7 million public school students will now get a free meal in the morning.

In Shapiro’s words… “We can’t expect our kids to pay attention, learn and succeed if they haven’t eaten all day.”

Some who opposed this move called it government overreach and said charities can fill the gap when parents can’t afford to feed their kids.


And don’t get me started on perhaps why parents can’t afford to feed their own children.

And so far this year, six other states have moved to provide free universal school meals.

But not Arkansas.

Their definition of “protecting” children is a little different. Wanna know how?

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Donald Trump’s former mouthpiece), signed a bill into law that rolls back a number of child labor protections.

One of them used to require children under 16 to get written consent from a parent or guardian in order to work.

Not anymore.

The move is particularly dangerous to vulnerable youth, especially immigrants who easily could be exploited.

Can’t we all agree that all children need to be in school and deserve to be in a position to learn, grow and thrive, not working 9-5 on an assembly line or in a food processing plant?

Because while there may not be such a thing as a free lunch, there IS a free breakfast… at least here in Pennsylvania.

And that my friends is not only something to be proud of, it’s also a fact.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Natalie Bencivenga
Natalie Bencivenga

Natalie Bencivenga is a socially conscious journalist and hosts a weekly show on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Follow her on Instagram at NatalieBencivenga.


More Video