Untrained children in industry
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What becomes of the thousands of children who drop out of the St. Louis schools each year on reaching the age of fourteen when the compulsory education law no longer compels their attendance? They are just at the age when our present schools cannot hold them without the compulsory attendance law or without adequate provisions for supplementing the literary training of the schools with training along industrial lines. Furthermore, since the few provisions existing in the city for industrial training are not available for the boy or girl in the grades; it appears that such children who refuse to continue in the elementary public schools beyond the age of fourteen must either become idlers, enter commercial or training schools of doubtful value or begin industrial careers as unskillustrationsed, untrained workers, and work for long hours, in undesirable occupations, with low wages and, slight chance for advancement. With a view to learning the actual conditions of the boys and girls who leave school before finishing the grades, and before they are sixteen years of age, an investigation was begun in the fall of 1908 under the auspices of the St. Louis School of Social Economy.