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Fmr. NY Times writer complains that boy mowing White House lawn sends bad message on child labor

September 19, 2017

A former New York Times labor reporter was criticized on social media after tweeting that the White House is sending a bad message about child labor after allowing an 11-year-old boy to mow the White House lawn last week.

“Not sending a great signal on child labor, minimum wage & occupational safety >> Trump White House lets a 10-year-old volunteer mow its lawn,” Greenhouse tweeted last week.

Steven Greenhouse, an employee at the New York Times for 31 years, felt that the White House was sending bad signals on child labor laws for allowing 11-year-old Frank Giaccio, of Falls Church, Virginia, to mow the White House lawn. Giaccio had previously sent a letter to the White House asking if he could mow the lawn.

“It’s great for Frank to want to help – But American Academy of Pediatrics says no one under 12 shud use power mower,” Greenhouse tweeted.

Last week, Frank visited the White House, mowed the lawn, and spent time with President Donald Trump.

“Even though I’m only 10, I would like to show the nation what young people like me are ready for,” Frank had written in a letter to the White House, asking to move the lawn – for free.

“Future of the country right there, we’re lucky,” Trump told reporters last week at the White House.

Several people were critical of Greenhouse’s tweet.

“The sanctimonious and humorless finger-wagging of nanny state progressivism in one tweet,” the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol tweeted, citing Greenhouse’s tweet.

“Teaching kids to be self-sufficient and the value of a day’s work is problematic now? FFS! My dad had me on the tractor when I was 9. #SMH,” one Twitter user replied.