On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles school board unanimously approved a plan to allow the district to seek advertising as a way to finance public schools in our city.
School board member Steve Zimmer said he “was bothered to my core,” because of the ethical conundrums.
Schools– grammar schools and high schools– will soon be whored out to advertisers who will erect signs and billboards on the virgin lands of young people’s classrooms and playing fields.
The city of Barbra Streisand, Larry King, Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, Eli Broad and Paris Hilton needs the $18 million dollars from corporate advertisers that will possibly fund dying arts programs in the public schools. Flashing digital signs promoting video games, candy bars, toys, sports teams, movies, TV shows, these are the visual images that will pass in front of the eyes of captive young students in the Los Angeles schools.
What can be said in defense of this proposition? It is monstrously immoral and infinitely corrupting. The public schools, institutions devoted to the greater good of promoting learning, are now sold out for exploitation and greed. It is the advertiser who will gain the most. The schools, no matter what their needs may be, will lose their independence and respect with this sell-out.
I am tired of hearing how “poor” Los Angeles is and how we cannot afford even the most rudimentary educational programs. Why don’t we open marijuana dispensaries and massage centers inside the classroom? Maybe we can sell guns and cars on the playing fields of the schools.
Hey, if it makes money, why not?