Coal country isn’t a place for children.
The children here don’t need a teacher, a coach, a parent or a counselor.
They don’t have to have a college degree to attend a private school or a job.
The kids have no need for a college education or a college diploma.
They just need to have the same education and the same opportunities.
This is what the coal industry says, and it’s why they have so much money.
Coal is the country’s largest fuel source, the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and the second-largest coal producer in the United States, behind only natural gas.
But in coal-rich Kentucky, the industry doesn’t give kids a choice.
It’s a matter of survival.
In 2015, the state’s coal miners lost about a quarter of their jobs.
Some coal miners are working for the same company that lost their jobs, a coal company that’s owned by one of the wealthiest people in the country, Robert Murray.
The coal industry employs a lot of children.
A recent analysis by the Institute for Labor Economics and Peace found that the United Mine Workers of America had more than 1,000 child workers, mostly at coal mines in Kentucky.
Many of these children have never seen the inside of a coal mine.
They work for little or no pay, and they get only a fraction of the benefits that coal miners typically receive.
As one coal miner told me: There’s a lot to be gained by going into a mine and being honest.
But there’s a huge downside to that.
The child workers are usually underpaid.
According to the National Labor Relations Board, coal companies that hire children are required to pay them $1,200 a month or more for their work.
That’s a staggering sum for an apprentice worker.
But it’s a fraction compared to the average $8.80 an hour the child workers earn.
One coal mine worker told me that a child’s wage could be enough to get her through the winter.
“We can’t afford to lose anyone,” she said.
In 2014, a federal judge in New York, Richard Posner, ruled that coal mines are violating children’s right to work and that children are routinely being fired for doing nothing more than walking away from work.
In March, President Trump signed an executive order directing the Labor Department to investigate whether coal mining companies are employing children as forced labor.
Last year, the Department of Labor issued a memo calling for an “exhaustive review of all allegations of child labor in the coal mining industry.”
The Trump administration’s announcement last month that the coal sector was banning the practice of forcing children to work without pay sparked widespread outrage.
But the coal miners in Kentucky are fighting back.
“These kids are being ripped off,” said Greg Rupp, the owner of the Little Blue Barn, a local family-run business.
“This is a family business.
They’re trying to do the best they can to stay afloat.
They need a job.”
Rupp said he and his family, which include his son, two daughters and two granddaughters, are doing everything they can.
He said he’s trying to recruit other family members to join the family business to help keep the business afloat.
“The bottom line is, I can’t go on without my kids,” Rupp told me.
“It’s not a business.
It just doesn’t have a lot left in it.
And they’re my only two family.”
I asked the miners why they’re so angry.
They told me they’re tired of the way things are in their community, where they can’t see a paycheck, where the children are treated like second-class citizens, where their children are sent to day care, where many parents have no money to help them with their kids.
They said they’re angry because they can barely afford to feed their kids, who often have to fend for themselves.
“I just think it’s so unfair,” said one miner.
“My children are living in the city.
They have no job, no income.
They live on a bus and I have to feed them.
I have no income, and I can barely feed them.”
The miners also said that they were trying to stop the exploitation of the coal workers.
They believe that coal companies are exploiting the children in a way that’s worse than slavery.
In the 1980s, miners in Appalachia, Tennessee and West Virginia fought to protect the right of children to participate in the union.
Today, many in the region still believe that miners and other coal workers should be treated as human beings, with rights and responsibilities, not slaves.
“If you don’t treat your workers like humans, it doesn’t matter how much money you have,” said Steve Broun, the chairman of the United Coal Workers of the U.S. West, the union that represents the coalworkers in Kentucky and Tennessee.
“When we say human beings we mean humans.
And we’re human beings.”
He said the miners