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 childrenâ€™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 canâ€™t just be a simple spiral notebook; it has to be a hard-covered, three-subject spiral notebook with pockets.
It canâ€™t just be a cheap calculator for my middle school child (or none at all, which is what Iâ€™d prefer); it has to be a TI 84 plus c programmable, graphing, etc., etc., I donâ€™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 weâ€™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 didnâ€™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 donâ€™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 â€œMagic Rubâ€ erasers. (Iâ€™ve often wondered what would happen if I sent my child to school with a â€œPink Pearlâ€ instead. Would the eraser Nazis sweep down and haul him off to detention for violating the supply list directive?)
Read the whole thing.