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Minnesota Labor Department investigating report of child working on school expansion


Edina, MN (CNN) - Photos appear to show a child helping to build an elementary school in Minnesota. Now, there's an investigation.


At a place kids go to learn and often play, there are now serious questions being raised about a series of photos that appear to show a child, possibly as young as 13, working on a construction site to build new elementary classrooms.


Kevin Pranis – Minnesota Laborers Union: "We believe children should be learning in classrooms not building them."

Kevin Pranis works for the Minnesota Laborers Union. He says union reps have been keeping an eye on the $880,000 project to expand Cornelia Elementary, even though it is not a union job. They took the pictures & blew the whistle to both the school district and the state labor department when they saw the young teen working on the job site.

Kevin Pranis: "We were very concerned for that child's safety. He was working without protective equipment on potentially dangerous tasks - saw cutting, operating a Bobcat."

We tried talking with the contractors working on the school project. This man who said he was not allowed to identify himself or even the company he worked for, told us his boss had just this quote: a letter has been sent to a subcontractor, notifying of a safety violation and it has been addressed.

Reporter: “You have confirmed there was a minor working on the site?”

Susan Brott - Edina, MN Public Schools Spokeswoman: "We have confirmed there was a minor on the site."

Edina schools spokeswoman Susan Brott tells us they're taking the allegation seriously.

Susan Brott: "As we investigate we will consider what else could we do as a district or do we just turn it over to the appropriate authorities."

The State Labor Department is also looking into the situation. The contractor on the project does not appear to have any record of safety or child labor violations.