School starts back soon, can all the women in the house say, “Wahoo!” I’m sure that makes me sound like a bad mother, a very bad mother indeed.
As a bad mother, I get the opportunity to drop my children off at the local government school for their respective indoctrine sessions. My kids are in public school and for now, due to the fact that I cannot afford private school and due to the fact that I’m a single mother so working is not an option, which rules out home schooling, I have no issues with the public school. When I do, I’ll take them out and fill them with useless facts by myself educate them at home or “something”. For now, I’m quite certain that the joy of coming home to have coffee in silence will be unmatched.
This local government is so generous to provide us with a “school supply list”. It use to be that we were providing supplies for our children however somewhere along the line I missed the memo stating that those days were over and it’s now supply for the entire school.
Allow me to give a little history. For the first time this year, I decided to wait until the blessed holiday before purchasing supplies. Yes, that holiday known to most of us as “Tax Free Day”.
I proudly go to the school website and print off a copy from each school of the supplies that our child will need. I did not review the list, just simply grabbed it and went off to the wonderful mega-evil supercenter to purchase the supplies.
I arrive in the parking lot where I find myself fighting the mom coming the opposite direction for a parking space only to end up parking two football fields away from the entrance of the store. Once in the store my eyes about bulged out of my head from all the masses, impolite, cart/isle rage, masses. I don’t think I’d ever seen so many “momma bears” showing their teeth all at one time as I did on this day and the sad part is, their children weren’t even with them needing protecting, they were just gnarling in rage. American Gladiator look out!
I begin going down my list of items that are needed, starting with my 2nd grader’s list. I read the following: 3-24count Crayola Crayons; 6pk square yellow post-it notes – yellow only; 1pk multi-colored dry erase markers; 6 Elmer Glue Sticks; 3 tubes of Elmer Glue; 3 Wide Tip Yellow Highlighters; Headphones for computer usage; and so on and so on.
Now I could easily begin my topic here, but before I do, please allow me to share a little of my 8th graders supply list: 1pk-12 Red Ink Pens; 1pk-12 Black Ink Pens; 1pk-12 Blue Ink Pens; 3-24count #2 pencils; 2-12pk colored pencils; 512mgb USB; fraction calculator; and so on and so on.
We get the supplies and the purchase 5 new outfits for my daughter – all of which mind you, were purchased on the clearance rack where no item was over $10. I then head over to purchase a few grocery items; after all, I am at the wonderful mega-evil supercenter.
I get to the register and have the cashier ring up all grocery items separately as they are not “tax free”. Ok, so I spent $96.34 on groceries. We continue with all the other items that are considered tax-free. She rings up the above items listed, along with backpacks, lunch boxes, notebook paper, folders, dividers, WHITE index cards (because the colored ones are obviously a distraction), three ring binders (but NO Trapper Keepers), spiral subject notebooks, pencil boxes/pouches, book covers (which are now no longer paper but cloth), and so on and so on. The cashier announces, “That’ll be $199.73” WHAT??? So again, with eyes bulging I ask, “Did that add on tax?” She of course said, “yes but it was because I had to ring up the ‘white’ index cards without the UPC…” Um, $1.76 tax is nothing to complain over however that is more than what the index cards even cost.
At this point I say, WHATEVER, just get me the heck out of here.
I get home and begin wondering why I have so many items of one specific thing. For example, why does my 2nd grader need 3-24count crayons??? (side note – I rebelled by not purchasing the “Crayola” brand or the “Elmers” brand) The children are of course far too excited too just leave the supplies in a bag; we must organize and get our backpacks ready to go, immediately.
This is where my rant is about to begin…
School is in session on Tuesday for TWO hours and buses will run so that parents can continue to go to work and skip the entire registration process with their children. What parent doesn’t want to meet their childs teacher? I arrive with my 7th grader and we go to all the classes, get the locker assignments, meet all the teachers – of which all handed me their own personal supply list that my 8th grader will need to have for their class. What the heck?
Allow me once again to share the list of items that were NOT on the original list provided me for the 8th graders:
Language Arts – 4 folders with pockets and brads (what the heck is a “brad”? The only brads I am familiar with are the type who run away with Angelina Jolie, but I suspect that’s not what the school wants.); markers; index cards with lines; hand sanitizer; mini Post-It notes; Kleenex; paper towels; glue sticks
Math – 3 ring binder specifically for this subject only; pen – NOT black or blue; Kleenex
Science – assorted colored sharpies; glue sticks; paper towels; assorted colored highlighters
Social Studies – white-out correction fluid only; 200 count 3×5 lined index cards
All of these extras cost me $90, in addition to the $200 I had previously spent! When did I become, as a parent, as a single mom, the mega-evil supercenter vendor??? WHY am I sending paper towels, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, or even post-it notes to a teacher? Why is the school not supplying these basic items? My work doesn’t ask me to bring my own toilet paper why should our local government expect any different? There are approximately 22 students in each class, now multiply that by 4 classes and that gives you 88 students providing paper towels, hand sanitizer, glue sticks, etc to ONE teacher. WHAT THE HECK!?!?!
If our local government cannot afford to supply the needs of the teachers yet seem to find the gas money to run the school buses for two hours, something is completely backwards with this system!
It is unfathomable to me that our local government, the same government that promised us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness finds no guilt in placing such burden on the parent. In Davidson County alone, there are 1,800 homeless schoolchildren with parents. These are not orphans; these are children with living parents that due to today’s recession can’t afford to keep their homes, their cars, or anything of personal value. Pray tell me please, how and why these parents are expected or could even provide such items to our local government? These grievances are thrust upon these people and yet our local government dares to put the words “all supplies must be brought to the school by August 11th” at the bottom of the supply list. Will they kick our children out of school, banding them until all supplies are provided?
Our government proudly announces to the world, without hesitation, the preamble to the United States Constitution, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Promote general Welfare, insure domestic Tranquility, establish Justice… where is the justice in dumping their responsibilities onto the shoulders of the homeless, the single parent, and the middle class that has more than one child just so that they can justify spending money for gas in order to run the buses for two hours?
Our Declaration of Independence tells us, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
I say it is time; it is my right, my duty, for the security of my family, to throw off such government!
This so-called new holiday is not worth it. It is merely the governments way of stating, “We’ll cut you a break since you the parent are now our local supply vendor for all school needs”. Thus, I am rebelling, alas no more tax-free days for me. No more name brand supplies. No more being the mega-evil supercenter vendor for the government!
So hear, hear, school is in session and I’m no longer the school vendor but simply the bad mother.
Copyright by reflectionsbypj 2009/08/01