1. Kids don’t use them. Every student has to bring a bunch of stuff home at the end of the year that was never used. But because the school has some single list for all classrooms, everyone in Ms. Brunchy’s kindergarten class has an unopened box of mechanical pencil refills.
2. It’s only some of the supplies. Did your child bring a shoebox for the diorama, a basketball and hoop for gym, a poster board for social studies, a dead frog for science, and cardboard toilet paper tubes for art class? No, the school asks for that stuff later or supplies it on its own! It has no crayons or scissors but has dead frogs?
3. Textbooks, possibly the most important school supply, are not a ‘school supply’ that kids have to supply to the school. Even though each student needs the same copy. Even though in college they have to buy the textbooks.
4. It’s disrespectful. You paid for the building, the teacher, the desks, the buses – they can’t scratch up some pens and paper for your kid? What kind of dirt-floor, 3rd world, unpainted cinder-block, cheesy-assed education system are we running here?
5. Employees don’t pay for supplies out of pocket. Other than a plant, I didn’t furnish or prepare my office out of my own pocket. Why do teachers? Give them a budget for doing it. Why do the students?
6. Not every kid can afford the supplies. Nothing makes a kid feel like total shit on the first day of school like not having ‘school supplies’ when everyone else does.
7. Because school is compulsory. The law says the kid has to be there and do the work, then the law needs to pay for it. If you get drafted, you don’t have to bring your own rifle and helmet. If go to jail, you don’t supply the handcuffs.
8. School supplies are a gigantic waste. Just think of the glue that gets tossed away every year in June. No kid has ever used up all of their glue. Three bottles of glue could probably last an entire first grade the entire year.
9. Personal school supplies are a distraction. Some kid always takes another kid’s pen/folder/eraser/whatzit and then things get crazy. Megan has a sparkly pencil that makes Mary-Jo feel bad, so she takes a dump in Megan’s diorama about the lifecycle of salmon.
10. They corrupt the idea of property ownership. A young, impressionable, possibly insecure, kid brings her own consumable personal property, hand-picked to represent her particular philosophy/entertainment/fashion choices, and stores it in an unsecured communal classroom she shares with paste-eating hooligans. What could possibly go wrong in that scenario? Meanwhile, hardened adults in an office with an open supply room/closet really don’t care whose identical pen belongs to whom. This is backwards.