Plugged In: Should 12 Year Olds Work?

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(Photo Credit: MGN Online/Inopak)

If the governor of Maine had his way, children as young as 12 would be allowed to work.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Gov. Paul LePage said Maine is not using one of it’s most valuable resources — it’s youth.

“There is nothing wrong with being a paperboy at 12 years old, or at a store sorting bottles at 12 years old,” LePage said.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Maine law requires students who want to work before they reach the age of 16 to get a work permit from their school superintendent and meet other requirements.

Do you think children as young as 12 should be able to work? Read more here, then head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think. We’ll share your comments during Plugged In from 6:30 – 9 a.m.



  • tori

    Kids should be kids!! Education should be first.. at the age of twelve kids are not responsible enought to juggle school and work.. most adults cant do it!!

    • Lester

      Sadly, most don’t juggle their school work (after school). Also, many who graduate do not have any idea of a good work ethic, entering the job force thinking they should be paid to be on their smart phone texting and social networking. See, they have time to learn that habit in their school years, and come the work force they feel entitled to continue it.

      I served in the military and have to tell you, far too many of the 18 year olds who came and worked under my supervision literally (after some time letting them try to adapt) had to be told to check their phone with their supervisor (leave it with them) during work hours and then be told about what they could and could not do on the computer (they would be surfing news sites or other BS) instead of working. In the real world they can be fired. In the military they end up being babysat thru their teething transition.

      12 is too young, but 18 is too old.

    • Jullie Yeatman

      I worked since I was 10 watching younger cousins. I got a paper route at 11, and another one when it became available & paid another kid to take my route on weeks when I had to be elsewhere – excellent training for life. By age 15,I got a job in a local retail store for a student wage – not qutie a minimum wage – I always had A’s on my report cards and money in my pocket. I think all kids should work just for the responsibility a job teaches, the work ethic & pride that comes from a job well done, and the financial lessons taught by managing your own paycheck.

  • Sue Cox

    Remember the sweat shops that children worked in? In some 3rd world countries they still do. The USA is not a 3rd world country. Let the children be children first. Their education should come first.

  • lori culver

    If parents could be responsible I think it would be ok…but to many parents are irrespinsible and it could cause a lot of problems.

  • Gordon Hofman

    My first job was delivering The Plain Dealer at age 15. My son delivered the Plain Dealer, The Sun News and The Cleveland Press at the same time. Both of us learned financial responsibility. Than you Plain Dealer and Sun News for eliminating that opportunity to our youth.

    • Lester

      Not only financial responsibility, but work ethic. You HAD to get up, HAD to get the papers delivered on time, or you heard it (from customers and the paper). When I retired from the military we had a transition briefing course, and one of the things they said was “if you show up to work on time, and work your day, and can pass a urine test, you are ahead of 50% of our populace”.

      THAT is sad.

  • Ryan M White

    In this day and age we tend to cross a line in protecting our young. We need not shelter them because they will end up as adults with no sense of purpose or duty. We need to GUIDE our young. No child should be out in the workforce without their parents watchful eye. Know their employers. Always keep you hand on your child’s back as they move forward into the world. Even children have to be pushed to do the things needed above what is wanted but always be there to lend a hand when they jump to far and if they need a push into the pool of civilization never turn your back and leave them to drown. A child’s greatest quality is their resiliance.

  • Deborah

    At 12 years old?? He got his IQ mixed up with the age. As how is the child suppose to go to school?? Way to go governor!! Stooping to new lows!!

  • Patricia V

    Really! I not only delivered papers at 8 years old I washed clothes washed dishes watched other kids learned to paint walls lay carpet helped put paneling and dry wall up already knew how to read write and math by the time I was 5 because my grandma was deaf and illiterate and I took care if her bills we walked to the bank I told her how much to get out for books and food so this is how we did it. I also mowed grass for not only our home but for the other elderly people in our neighborhood. I still played and had a straight A average in school. I was just a tomboy and still am. I fish, watch football, but I can cook clean pay my own bills and don’t need any man to pay my way. I took care of four children by my self and my grandma took care of her 15 brothers and sisters after her mom passed then had 6 of her own plus raised me. That’s what’s wrong with the children of today they have no responsibility or work ethics. Its why these children have to much time on their hands and are selling or doing drugs and robbing/killing people wake up. Yeah let kids be kids and sit in front of TVs and video games. Don’t people think that’s the reason why we have obese children because all they do is sit around and not be productive individuals of society. I’m just saying.

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