A Parental Rant

I hate school fundraising projects. Why is it that we think we have to turn our kids into raving capitalists in the name of their education? Beyond the fact that most of these sales really have a poor point of return, it is a problem that we basically tell kids that they are responsible for their own education.

Okay, I understand that schools are underfunded and that they are dependent on fundraisers to pay for things like copy machines and computer support (at least in Tennessee). Yet most of the these fundraisers are done under the auspices of PTO/PTAs. Why are we asking the kids to do the work of the parents? Why don’t parents step up and raise these funds and let the kids focus on things like study and play?

What bugs me the most is that our school had a “Invest in Your Child” fundraiser at the beginning of the year where parents were asked to make a direct donation so that we could minimize fundraisers. Kay and I commit ourselves to this, and so we made a pretty good donation. Then, within a month or so, Grace brings home the Entertainment Books, and then the wrapping paper, and all the other sale items. We could say that we aren’t going to participate, but to get the kids to invest in selling they are bombarded with prizes (bonuses?) for meeting certain sales goals. In the face of those enticements, it’s hard to tell the kids no.

While I am ranting, has anyone else noticed that Chucky Cheese is basically a training ground for organized gambling? The reason kids go is not to eat pizza, but to play games. Most of these games have no skill component (other than Skeeball) but rather are games of chance which spit out prize tickets based on whether you hit a button at a certain second. They are, in fact, slot machines for kids, taking tokens and spitting out tickets so that kids can acquire some other useless Chinese made junk which clutters their rooms.

Do I sound angry this morning?

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