Newt Gingrich is criticized by AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) for suggesting a plan to pay students for doing janitorial work (www.afscme.org/reallynewt).
Realistically, it is possible to allow children to clean classrooms and not pay them at all. Frankly, I can remember days of being a student in parochial school and cheerfully contributing my time to clean our classroom and water the plants.
Such activity for children is the essence of what we once called citizenship, the idea that one has an obligation to community health and welfare.
In a more enlightened time, citizenship credits were often required as prerequisites for graduation from high school. Understanding citizenship is an essential for maintaining a republic: citizens working to ensure the welfare of their community for smaller government and community pride.
Encouraging children to take on a citizen's responsibilities can be a steppingstone to healthier communities.
- Greg Susoreny, Munster