portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

corporate dominance | education | youth

Corporations In Schools

Krispy Kreme takes over my grade school, while I wasn't looking. Patriotism takes over my Christmas play, and an "auction" passes for a community activity.
Two kids in our class have religious beliefs against Halloween and Christmas so now our class cannot have anything that has to do with this...except if it's patriotic. Our Chistmas play has to be "Yankee Doodle Christmas," and it has to be patriotic. Isn't my belief against patriotism as strong as their beliefs against Halloween and Christmas? Patriotism=commercialism. Why is it we can have a gift exchange when we can't celebrate Christmas?

About two weeks ago, we had what was supposed to be the Fall FAMILY Fun Festival. But it turned into the Fall CORPORATION Festival. The only way they got people to come to this was by bringing in Krispy Kreme donuts to sell and advertising them at my school. I didn't go.

Now at my school, everything has to be for sale. Me and the other kids in my class have been having to make little cards every day, and now we're just going to sell them away at a school "auction." My teacher is making us do this. It's supposedly for money for my school. Does the school really need it? They make us buy everything we need before the year starts. Then, we even had to buy extra for the school. They made us buy copy paper, they made us buy expo dry erase markers, some of the kids even had to buy dry erase boards. Then there's all the standard supplies we need (paper, pencils, glue, scizzors, markers, etc).

Last year, all our teacher focused on was good nutrition. Then, every Friday they sell us Otis Spunkmeyer cookies. I don't even know what the money was for.

Nothing means anything to anyone anymore, unless it has money involved.
Schools Soviet Style 28.Oct.2003 10:08

parent

The corruption in our schools has the same source as the corruption in our federal government.
Education of our children was never intended to be under central control by the federal government.
Control over our neighborhoods, schools and families is under direct attack by the US government, which is directkly influenced
by foreign banking interests and their corporate entites.
The emerging US Federal system is just a capitalist form of communism. Elements of the Soviet system, combined with elements of the Chinese System, merged into a hybrid form of corporate governance through subversion of the constitution is now evident.
This conversion of America through our schools has been going on by government collusion for some time. Read Charlotte Iserbyte's book on this plan in her book , "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America".
At this point, our only option is to remove our children from these propaganda mills and fight at the local level to revise the curriculum and kick out the Federal government.

Theft of education 28.Oct.2003 10:18

anti-corp

This is an interesting article, Calvin! As for the comment above, I don't see this as a problem of federal government propaganda, so much as it is a problem of corporate propaganda. When did we start allowing corporate interests to colonize our schools? This is yet another theft of the commons. Is no place safe from this? Why should krispy kreme be allowed to come in and marketize our children? (Hell, they can't even SPELL right! It's CRISPY CREAM, damn it!)

And the point about the labor of children being used to support a money making venture when they should be using their school time to learn is a good one. Since when do we allow people to use our children as indentured servants? When we send them to school, they're supposed to be learning! Not working to raise money.

well, soon enough... 28.Oct.2003 11:47

this thing here

... corporate and government propaganda will become one and the same.

either that, or it will be one mouth speaking out of both sides of it's face, in order to maintain appearences that there is 2, when there is really only 1...

I'm Confused... 28.Oct.2003 15:31

Todd

Just what the hell is a "a capitalist form of communism"? By the way, the collusion of government and corporation for control of the masses is FASCISM, not communism. I'm glad you're not my "parent".

This "the-problem-is-the-federal-government" argument COMPLETELY mischaracterises the problem.

The problem of corporations in schools is caused precisely under-funding of schools by the "small-government-reactionaries" currently in power. If you want corporations out of schools FUND THEM!!!! Schools need to get funding from somewhere and currently only corporations seem to be lining up to help—for a price.

mostly agree with Todd 28.Oct.2003 16:06

White Lilac

Good comments, Todd. I agree that corporations can weasel their way into schools because of lack of funding. At my high school for example, we couldn't afford TVs or VCRs to watch documentaries or dissections or whatever. Channel One came along and said it would put at least one TV and VCR in every room (sometimes several TVs), and give us a free hookup to its satellite broadcast. The catch: we all had to watch a 10 or 12 minute Channel One broadcast every day, chock full of commercials, with a few current events thrown in.

Same with sports: Coke gave us a killer deal on a new electronic scoreboard but it's covered with Coke propaganda. They love us even more because we had exclusively Coke products in all the vending machines.

Our books were so old that we had to cover them to protect the bindings from graffiti and wear and tear. The Army gave us a bunch of free bookcovers to use, to make sure we could stare at their propaganda and had their phone number handy every time we opened a book.

On and on. There are so many examples that I know I'm forgetting and even oblivious to.

But I disagree that corporations will get out of school if we just fund them more. You can't walk down the hall without running into multiple billboards for Abercrombie, Nike, Adidas, whatever. Even 'anti-brands' like Cons used to be or Adbuster's new black spot sneakers ( http://blackspotsneaker.org/) are still brands that want to attract a cult-like following and unwavering loyalty.

I think as long as corporations exist in our society, they will try to worm their way into schools.

Ubiquitous Corporate Presence 28.Oct.2003 18:59

Northern Exposure

Corporations are increasingly aggressive and, like the camel with its head in the tent, bent on getting their whole body inside and the biggest bang for their buck. It used to be that individuals and corporations would underwrite or donate toward worthy causes and ask little more than that they be publicly acknowledged in a press release or program. Some of them would make endowments or awards and the award carried their name, but nobody insisted upon persistent "in your face" advertising on the premises of whoever was the recipient of their largesse. A couple of years ago I witnessed a truly repugnant sight . . . a hospital for the developmentally disabled near where I was living had been the recipient of clothing donated by a corporation but every bit of it bore large and blatant advertising. To see these people trussed up as oblivious walking advertisements pushed the limits of good taste. Compassion apparently has a price tag. I would be much more impressed by the announcement of a generous endowment or gift with no strings attached than I would be by the numerous "collect the tops from our products and we'll kick back a few pennies for each one we receive." True concern for the needs of groups, schools, etc. aren't primary on their agenda . . . figuring out how to use these groups to promote their agenda while looking "generous" in the process is foremost in their minds.

good comments 26.Oct.2005 16:33

ema franklin

calvin.. good comments! great observations.... while observing everyones freedoms, it seems we are becoming even more restricted...freedom.... restriction......hmmm.