Child labor laws are being dismissed among businesses

Anna Wilder, Featured writer

With the school’s rigorous course expectations, drive for success and pressure to be at a constant involvement in a plethora of activities, students often find themselves overwhelmed with academics and extracurriculars.

While students are usually able to work with teachers about scheduling academics around school sports and extracurriculars, high-schoolers who have a part-time job are in a different situation.

The expectation to have a job in 2018 has become overpowered with the tradeoff of having a 4.0 GPA, especially at West Shore. Students who have a job are the minority, and it can become tricky balancing their school work along with the demands of getting a paycheck.

Senior Isabella Nemes said although her job does get in the way of school at times, she enjoys working.

“I’ll remind myself that working teaches me different skills sets that school doesn’t offer,” Nemes said.

Nemes says she will usually work around 10 to 15 hours a week, but her boss can be flexible with the hours when she feels overwhelmed. On the other hand, not all students are as fortunate with their work hours as Nemes.

A 16-year-old girl who chose to remain anonymous says that at times she works six and a half hours without a break. The only time the 16-year-old does get a break is when she works a double shift.

“I was actually thinking about quitting because I am so busy with school. I really don’t have time to get everything done and it becomes stressful,” the anonymous source said. “They keep scheduling me a lot and I don’t want to work that much. For example, next weekend I work 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday with no break besides the half hour between shifts.”

With high expectations to succeed, it becomes vital that students have the time to prioritize what is most important to them without jeopardizing their grades or their job.

She went on to say she usually work around 13 hours a week, but at times has double shifts that take up their whole weekend.

According to Florida child labor laws, minors who are 14 to 15 years old can work only up to 15 hours a week, and should not be working before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. when school is in session. However, 16 and 17-year-olds can work up to 30 hours a week.

With the issue becoming more pressing for teens across the U.S., it is questioned whether businesses will stop hiring students under the age of 16 all together.

According to the anonymous source for students who have three hours of AP work every night in addition to four hour shifts, getting work done becomes almost impossible.