Save the Future

Essay by deadlycobraHigh School, 11th gradeA, November 2006

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The fact that we are human beings grants us a great gift - the ability to be unique and make our own decisions. We are constantly making choices for ourselves. How could restaurants stay in business if they only offered one type of food? However, students in today's schools are not able to fully utilize this privilege. Companies are gaining greater control over schools by choosing the cafeteria menu, the type of books students are exposed to, and so on, all in the name of financing public education. In the era of low funding for public school systems, the head of the school boards are becoming desperate and many have opened school doors to a flood of commercial messages.

While the problem isn't as rampant in Canadian schools, our American counterparts are going as far as placing pictures with specific product names on textbooks. In 1989, when Channel One legitimized advertising as a way of financing education, participating schools were required to play a daily 12 minute Channel One newscast with 2 minute commercials.

In return, schools were offered the use of a television set and VCR in each classroom.

Often, these promotional offers favor the corporation more than the education system.

Students are always an easy target for marketers as their minds are easily swayed by advertisements. They are the future market and their loyalty to a product today can affect future business prospects. Commercialism should not be allowed in school for this very reason. Recently, many textbook have featured brand-name candies and snacks such as M&M, Skittles, and Nestle chocolate bar. Some pediatricians worry that it "will engrave snack food brands in children's impressionable minds, hook them on junk food, and lead to eating problems later in life." This will add to the problem of increasing...