As the summer draws to a close, many people like to commemorate the passing of another season by participating in special activities. Some take trips to the seashore. Others like to enjoy one last cookout before waning hours of daylight and the pressures of homework lay claim to the joys of the evening for another year.
I myself like to visit Walmart. That's right, Walmart.
But I don't go for an end-of-summer shopping spree. Instead, I undertake a sociological research expedition to gather intelligence on the ideological condition of the education system.
Each year, many schools fax their supply lists to their area Walmarts for purposes of convenience for when parents go to procure scholastic accoutrements for the coming year. However, these list do more than detail the implements a school deems necessary to acquire a decent education. More importantly, they provide essential insight into the philosophy governing these schools since few topics are as revealing about an individual's or organization's character than their beliefs regarding the disposition of possessions and property. And with that as the criteria, some schools fail miserably.
In the past, parents took the responsibility of acquiring these goods for their own children. After all, both history and common sense teach that rational, loving individuals usually provide the best they are capable of acquiring for those they care about the most.
However, thinking they know more than both common sense and human nature, some professional educators have taken it upon themselves to impose a system of scholastic logistics upon parents whereby, instead of each family tending to their own needs as it should be, each parent is compelled to shoulder the responsibility of supplying every single whelp in the class. And you had better not make the mistake of getting little Johnny or Susie something special for back to school because these classroom commies are going to be all over it like IRS auditors on taxable income, confiscating it in the name of communal well-being.
This is the third year in a row that I have written a column on this important but overlooked topic. In my mind, I'd like to think it made a difference or that enough parents had grown disgusted enough to put these uneducated educators in their place.
For from perusing the lists available at one of the Walmarts in Glen Burnie, Maryland, it seemed as of late summer 2003 schools were taking a more individualist approach to the coming term. Hopefully, these wayward schoolmarms came to their senses and realized the inefficiency of socialism. However, this issue still demands constant vigilance.
For starters, some schools might simply omit the confiscation codicil and preemptively seize the items as the wee tikes scamper through the school house door. Other schools have not yet learned their lesson, continuing to run their campuses as filthy 60's communes.
At the bottom of the list for Poplar Tree Elementary in Fairfax, Virginia, is a line warning, "Additionally, some teachers will have a 'Community' supply system, so please check with the individual teacher prior to labeling any item with your child's name."
Unless the sociological coup has come to a conclusion, the last time I checked the mere classroom teacher does not have the final word as to the fate of a child's possessions. That honor is to be worked out between the child and the benefactor providing these items.
In the kindergarten of Oakdale Elementary in Frederick County, Maryland, pupils are indoctrinated early in their academic careers as to the glories of peonage before the bureaucracy. Students at this grade level are admonished to lavish on the altar of statist education an oblation of two composition books, six glue sticks, one box of crayons, a set of magic markers, and other assorted examples of scholastic paraphernalia.
It's not so much that these items will be kept in class in a box or on a shelf labeled for each student. Apparatchiks at the school decree, "Please let your child know that these items will be collected and shared as needed." If I was a single father with a child in the class, I would be eager to know when the same was going to be done with the mothers.
Under such an economy, there is no guarantee that the supplies your child is going to get will be of the same caliber as you sent in. Therefore, parents ought to send in accoutrements of a minimalist in quality.
Instead of new pencils, parents ought to send in old stubby ones found around the house; instead of Crayolas, parents out to scrounge around for dull-tipped ones with the labels peeled off or those cheap knockoffs kids get at birthday parties or Trick-Or-Treating that are as greasy as Howard Stern's hair. After all, why buy the best when it's just going to end up in the hands of the spawn of some welfare recipient whose only marketable skill is birthing babies faster than a jackrabbit outside of marriage?
My grandmother use to say if you don't listen, you've got to feel. If these dimwitted pedagogues fail to comprehend the inevitable outcomes of socialism, they should be forced to endure them firsthand. History teaches that goods and services become scarce in a command economy since all incentive for individual initiative and personal achievement has been abolished.
Parents learning that their school supplies are not being used by their own respective offspring ought to put on a living history demonstration for academic administrators by not sending in one broken pencil or chewed up eraser. If public schools as the indoctrination arm of the state want to propagate the fallacy that the role of government is to provide all of our needs, who are we to say otherwise when it comes to stationary? Let the school supply the supplies; after all, they certainly aren't spending our tax dollars on the acquisition of knowledge or the development of moral character.