Taylor English attorney Deborah Ausburn successfully defended Laurelbrook Sanitarium and School, Inc, a Seventh-day Adventist
boarding school in Tennessee, against the Department of Labor's attempt to apply federal child labor laws to the school's
Laurelbrook emphasizes academic and vocational training equally, as the Seventh-day Adventist
Church advocates, and provides hands-on training for students in its nursing home and school operations. The Tennessee Department
of Education has accredited the program as a valid vocational curriculum.
In a trial in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Tennessee, the U.S. Department of Labor claimed that the work performed by students at Laurelbrook
should be covered by child labor laws that prohibit hazardous activities. The Department's definition of "hazardous"
is so broad that it would have prohibited Laurelbrook students from normal vocational learning activities, such as using table
saws in carpentry class, industrial mixers in culinary classes, or hand tools to create anything. Those restrictions would
have gutted the school's vocational program.