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Students of the World Unite; Educators Have Nothing to Lose But Your School Supplies
by Frederick Meekins
21 August 2002

 
The new requirement by schools of having children purchase their own school supplies which then become "communal property" in the classroom.

 

 


The thrill of another school year is in the air as stores across America hope to put customers in the scholastic mood with strategically placed displays of academic paraphernalia. Little do these merchants realize that these implements of elucidation might not even be used by the progeny of those purchasing these items.

Last year, I published two commentaries about a trend at many public schools where pupils don’t get to keep their supplies but must instead relinquish them into a communal stash. You know, each according to his ability; each according to his need. We’ve heard it all before.

The articles generated a robust response. This paradigm ran so contrary to human nature and common sense that a number thought I had made the whole thing up. Others, sadly, knew exactly what I was writing about as their own offspring had fallen prey to similar forms of sophisticated thievery.

Evidence for my argumentation had been culled from the experience of my cousin’s child at Patuxent Elementary in Lusby, Maryland --- a school my detractors insisted didn’t exist (the building looked pretty solid to me) --- and from supply lists for various schools made available for shopping convenience at local Walmarts. The conclusions were drawn by synthesizing these accounts. For example, unless some elementary students has a really nasty drug habit, why would any school request eight gluesticks and four bottle of glue unless for redistribution among the masses? One school required forty-eight pencils. It’s doubtful even Tom Clancy would require that many pencils for any given nine-month period.

Some of these schools are growing bolder about expressing their intentions behind these copious supply lists. The most brash thus far has to be that compiled by Annapolis Elementary School, in none other than Annapolis, Maryland.

Beneath the list for a number of classes it reads in bold print, “All supplies are considered community supplies and will be shared with the class.” One almost expects those words sprawled across the barn in Orwell’s Animal Farm underneath the slogan about all animals being equal with some more so than others.

Just as arrogant is the supposition that parents and child will obsequiously comply with these demands simply because someone with a fancy degree pulling down a hefty administrative salary makes them. Since public schools seem so keen on immersing students in a socialistic milieu, it’s about time pupils learned a little lesson in revolt.

But rather than pursuing this along the lines of the Communist model seeking to overturn all legitimate expressions of authority, it would be best to utilize America’s Founding Fathers as the overriding example. For as with the citizen’s relationship with government, the obedience of students to their teachers ought not be absolute, but rather limited to matters bearing directly upon classroom discipline not infringing upon the jurisdictions of other social authorities, namely parents.

Come the first day of school when these proto-socialist thugs will stand before their classes compelling students to surrender their property for the sake of the community, these students ought to respectfully refuse to comply with this lyceum larceny, clutching their notebooks and pencils in their little hands in defiance. Better yet, since the public schools seem so bent on wallowing in the axioms of Communism, perhaps these pedagogical subversives should be taught how socialist economies really work.

The equal distribution and access to resources for all has always been the grand delusion promoted by compulsory collectivism. In practice, this has ended up meaning all those living under its yoke end up equally miserable. Workers realize there is little reason to exert themselves since there’s no opportunity to get ahead honestly.

Students could symbolize this universal truth by refusing to provide any supplies whatsoever. If they do, they should be the shoddiest they can find, like those non-Crayolas that smear across paper. If students don’t own their own supplies as the list indicates, you can’t really chastise them for not brining to class what the school fails to recognize as the legitimate property of the student.

At the Libertarian convention, Neal Boortz noted that the purpose of any school is to inoculate its ideological perspective into the minds of its students. With schools making these kinds of material demands of students’ families, little question remains as to the ideas embraced by government educators and why parents should withdraw their children from these institutions if at all possible.

Copyright 2002 by Frederick Meekins