Fixing the Y2K computer problem won’t be as elementary as a Cleveland-area school district thought. A fifth-grade student hired by the district in March to make its computers Y2K compliant will not be allowed to complete the work.
State officials say Brian Hug, hired at minimum wage by the Mayfield School District to make sure the district’s classroom computers don’t malfunction when the year 2000 arrives, cannot be employed because children under 14 are prohibited by state law from working full or part time.
According to the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, children in Ohio must have work permits for all employment except for certain jobs such as delivering newspapers or working on a family farm. And state law says work permits that are valid when school is in session may only be issued to children 14 years or older.
Hug, an 11-year old student at Center Elementary School, was hired March 15 for $5.15 per hour when teachers, impressed with his computer skills and his willingness to help out around the school, wrote a letter to administrators suggesting the boy be hired.
The boy’s work would largely have consisted of inserting a disk into computers to check for Y2K compliance, according to school board president Janice Marquardt, who defended the hiring. Hug would not have been working with networked computers, she added.