16 Aug 2013

They Even Dictate the Brand

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D.C. McAllister, at Ricochet, describes the spectacular impact of the Age of Imbecility on children’s school supplies.

The back-to-school ritual of downloading the required school supplies list from my children’s schools and heading down to Target or Wal-Mart or Staples to purchase the exact supplies dictated by the teachers and administrators is an act of dread.

I hate it. I hate the lines. I hate that I have to buy tissue, paper towels, soap, reams of paper, and hand sanitizer — not for my child, but for the collective. I hate the pushing and shoving to get the last batch of neon-colored dividers or packet of green and pink highlighters.

I hate the high prices, and the tyrannical demands issued down from the school that the supplies have to be a certain type, even a specific brand. It can’t just be a simple spiral notebook; it has to be a hard-covered, three-subject spiral notebook with pockets.

It can’t just be a cheap calculator for my middle school child (or none at all, which is what I’d prefer); it has to be a TI 84 plus c programmable, graphing, etc., etc., I don’t know what that is, but I do know is that it costs more than a hundred bucks. I bought one for my seventh grader last year. She lost it. Now we’re buying another one because the school demands it. …

I remember when I went to school (back when we walked to school uphill both ways), my parents sent me out the door with a notebook and a pencil. That was it. Maybe a binder with loose-leaf paper. No calculator. No multicolored dry erase markers. No glue sticks. I didn’t even have a backpack. I lugged my books around under my arm. Back in those days, we actually used our lockers. Kids today load up their stuff in $80 backpacks, and many don’t even use the locker assigned to them.

When I went to school there were no supply lists handed down from on high. There were no directives to only buy “Magic Rub” erasers. (I’ve often wondered what would happen if I sent my child to school with a “Pink Pearl” instead. Would the eraser Nazis sweep down and haul him off to detention for violating the supply list directive?)

Read the whole thing.

One Feedback on "They Even Dictate the Brand"


At my daughter’s school, SHE (the teacher) is expected to buy those things. Kids come come to class without even a pencil or paper — though not without an iPhone.


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