Commercialization has no place in public school systems

Published 11:33 am Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sending my daughter to the local public school this year was an adventure to summarize quickly. Despite skeptics’ opinions of public education, America still has the greatest elementary schools in the world.

Our public schools are a place where all people from all classes and creeds can come together to enjoy the free and collective education that gives our youth the tools they need to be good citizens.

For many of us, our schools are considered to be a safe haven for our children from the commercialization that bombards them through television, video games and the Internet. Unfortunately that has been changing over the last few years as corporate America has found ways in.

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My daughter now comes home with some kind of corporate advertisement at least once a week.

Corporations are able to market themselves successfully in public schools by offering the schools money for programs like Box Tops for Education sponsored by General Mills, which influences family purchases of their products. School fundraisers for magazines and candy turn our innocent children into sales hit men to increase quarterly profits for fat cats on Wall Street.

Another program that schools encourage is This Website offers to donate a portion of sales to local school districts even though a majority of school donations come from local businesses, not distant corporations.

Just today, my daughter came home with advertisements from Verizon, Footlocker, Subway and Travelocity all of which are offering some kind of benefit to my local school if I buy their products.

The battle for the hearts and minds of our children isn’t about the battle of good versus evil or even Republican versus Democrat.

Today’s battle is being waged as to which corporate stamp gets to be placed on the minds of our children. When my daughter goes to school in the morning, she isn’t being indoctrinated with the triumph of democracy and a free education. She is being bombarded with corporate propaganda designed to lure her into being an obedient and corporate-loyal consumer.

Our children are simply being used as pawns in the game of profits … while parents and teachers allow it to happen.