Cool Schools: Worker Fairness Project

8:50 AM, Feb 4, 2011   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Lauren Hooper says her Social Justice class at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, DC, really opened her eyes. "We're paying a 100 or 150 for shoes and the people who are making the shoes are only making a dollar."

In their "worker fairness project," students research some of their favorite products and see how the workers who make them are bring treated by the employer.

If they find an injustice, like excessively low wages or long hours without a break, students write to company CEOs. Some of their letters have gone to companies like Nike or Nintendo.

Teacher Megan O'Conner says getting the students to connect to personal things, like their phone or even their clothes, makes the lesson have an impact. She says it also raises questions about boycotts: are they always the right thing to do?  "If we stop wearing this product altogether, how is that going to affect workers? Is that going to put them out of jobs altogether and is that better or worse?"

Dealing with real world issues students at ACHS are becoming informed consumers who have real power, and their only juniors in high school!

Now that's Cool!

Check out our Cool Schools segment every Friday morning at 5:45 a.m. on 9NEWS NOW. If you have a Cool School, email Mike Hydeck at

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