Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Keep ads off school scoreboards

Letter by Margi Nowak, Tacoma on July 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm with 5 Comments »
July 6, 2011 1:43 pm

Re: “Scoreboards will ring up ad dollars for schools” (TNT, 7-5).

Why does the chirpy headline about new corporate-sponsored scoreboards remind me of the Clear Channel billboard controversy?

Maybe it’s because in both cases, the assumption is that an inflow of money in these tough economic times is unquestionably a good thing, regardless of the costs of such corporate-driven media arrangements.

Let’s look at three points made about this proposal by the advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, almost 30 advocacy groups, parents and individuals who care about children.

As this group points out, advertising in schools exploits a captive audience of students, coloring its pitches with the powerful connotations of “school-sponsored” endorsements. While selling out students for any price is simply not the right thing to do, this particular arrangement will, according to the CCFC, only bring in about $2 per student per year once the district pays its share for the scoreboards – hardly a windfall for the school district.

Worst of all, such an arrangement teaches students a terribly wrong lesson. Clearly the sponsors of these scoreboards are driven by the need to promote their own profit rather than by the students’ – and the public – good.

When young people are taught by such corporate marketers that what matters most of all is the bottom line (“give ‘em a scoreboard and we get free advertising forever”), the health of our democracy, which depends on informed discussion and debate, is put in great jeopardy.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. Did Margi Nowak really just condemn corporate-sponsored information in the interest of greater flow of information?

    Next: I wish to endorse the outlawing of religion in order to preserve the freedom of religion.

    No doubt Ms. Nowak sees the logic in that, too.

  2. WarmNfuzziOne says:

    OK, You pay the difference in the advertising revenue would bring in.

    Put your money where your mouth is…oh, that’s right, talk is cheap.

  3. nwcolorist says:

    If these signs are sponsored by corporations, and they do a good job of providing information to the public, why shouldn’t the corporation get some form of recognition for it?

    Seems like your anti-business bias is showing.

    And children are already being indoctrinated by the Leftist mentality that pervades our public schools. Maybe this new concept will help the kids get a more balanced perspective.

  4. tree_guy says:

    I’d rather see the advertisements off the school property. If our society is so desperate for funding that this becomes an important consideration then it would be better to reduce what we are paying for workers. Let’s keep our costs in line with our revenues and forget the commercialism.

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