Friday, July 27, 2007

Turning away volunteers in Universal City

If you ran a suburb of San Antonio, and you had trouble recruiting volunteers for your animal shelter, would you dump the ones you had?

You might, if they are young enough.

From The Herald:

A collective moan could be heard by the volunteers as [Universal City Manager Ken] Taylor once again pointed out that he felt as though there would be some disappointment on the part of the junior volunteers. Referencing child labor statutes borrowed from the legal advice of the city attorney, Taylor made it painfully clear for the junior volunteers in attendance that their days of volunteering at the city’s animal shelter without the supervision of a parent or guardian were over.

Many of the disgruntled volunteers exiting the council chambers were confused as to the late-night shift in direction of the mayor and council. Although city leaders spoke on behalf of reinstating the junior volunteers, reflected on the city’s inability to properly staff its current animal shelter without the aid of the volunteers, and even voiced an opinion regarding the possibility of turning over the reigns [sic] of the city’s animal shelter to the Homes for the Homeless organization, the volunteers left the meeting with no action taken toward reinstating the program, which accounted for more than 6,300 volunteer hours — about 122 hours per week — at the shelter from the program’s start in November 2005 through December 2006.

I am not a lawyer, so I don't know -- but, does volunteer activity really count as labor, especially child labor? And, these seem to be teens we are talking about. Does that make a difference?


Dave said...

Nice. I guess that leaves more time for the young volunteers to pick up a can of spray paint and help "beautify" UC with their wonderful "artwork".

What a shame.

Albatross said...

Yeah, too bad. It's sad when youth who really want to help the community are turned away. Let's hope they find more worthy efforts to expend their energies on.