Can I just say that I think there is something absolutely immoral about using children to raise funds for anything? I’m talking particularly about the obscene School Fundraiser. You know, the ones where the kids attend an assembly (parents not invited) at which professional “motivational” people show them slides and videos of all the cool STUFF they could earn—slide after slide, visual after visual, blatantly appealing to the kids’ GREED for stuffstuffstuffstuffstuff—and then spend ninety seconds explaining how they hit people up to order STUFF in order to earn these rewards. Disgusting!
I happened to sit in on the assembly this year because of a mistake in scheduling for my classroom volunteer time. You would not believe the cheers and screaming from these kids when they saw what they could earn. Of course, the presenters show the smallest prize first (a glow-in-the-dark necklace! For just five orders!) and then they move gradually up to the biggest (an i-pod! For just 250 orders!). These kids practically took the roof off the gymn with their screams when they saw that. And of course, here they came at the end of the day with their precious catalogs and PRIZE BROCHURES clutched under their arms, ready to hit up the parents, the neighbors, grandma and grandpa and dad’s coworkers so they could get their precious i-pods.
(And I won’t even get into the amazing rip-off that these catalogs are full of. $9.00 for 7 ounces of chocolate-covered almonds?????)
What a very clear refresher course in some of the reasons I do NOT like capitalism. I’m sorry if that is offensive to your “this country was established by God on the godly principle of greed--oops I mean capitalism” philosophy. But I do NOT believe it is healthy to bombard people constantly with visions of stuff they don’t need—especially when these people are young children. It’s hard enough to try to limit the materialism in my children’s world without their SCHOOL CRAMMING IT DOWN THEIR THROATS!!!! It sends mixed signals when a child’s school (a major force of authority in his life) appears to “assign” him to go out and sell stuff. No, I’m wrong. It is NOT a mixed signal. It is a very clear signal about society—-but one I HATE, and one that has NO BUSINESS being in the schools.
If you need money, ask me for it, please. None of this child prostitution.
(Wait a minute. They DO keep asking us to write checks in the form of higher taxes for education. And I am absolutely willing to pay them. But there are many, many people unwilling to do so. Capitalists, all of them. [Insert winking smiley here because I want you to still like me even though you are a gun-totin' patriot].)