Every day, my kids get an average of seventeen million pieces of junk mail sent home with them from school. It’s fliers, announcements, propaganda and sales pitches doubled up and sent along for the parents without lives to stifle through. Meanwhile, the rest of us frantically pitch handfuls into the recycling bin like a bottle of spoiled milk. I don’t read it (because who has time for that?!). I assume if anything is pressing, the teachers will send an email like normal people. Recently, though, one conspicuous red flyer caught my eye and brought out my inner angst. The result- an angry phone call to the principle, a disappointed head-shake at the PTA, and some heart-felt hate mail.
This all began with a lovely Christmas program put on by my elementary school kids. The program really was lovely, but my children attend a PUBLIC school and they put on a CHRISTMAS program. Not a Holiday or winter themed event, but specifically and only Christmas. I will not elaborate on why this irked me, but it resulted in a word or two with the school principle. After much diplomatic convincing, the principle agreed to ‘look into the matter’ and ‘perhaps they could alter the program.’ Great! Progress! Just what this little tiny, rural Wisconsin town needs. I was satisfied.
Two days later, the principal resigned for undisclosed reasons. All of that negotiating was done for nothing. So I decided that my battle was best fought from the inside and took the matter to the PTA. While I was at it, why not take up the issue of planet destruction with all of the junk mail?
The PTA had nothing intelligent to say about the practice of religious holidays except that my children have the option to sit out (Thanks for making my kids feel special, Welcoming Committee!). On the contrary I CAN’T opt-out of the piles of useless flyers. So I was left with no results and a PTA contemplating fundraising opportunities to raise money for school supplies. Clearly, I’m just shaking my head in pity over why I can’t convince anyone that a flyer titled ‘Gardening Tips for your Three-Year-Old’ is a waste of school resources…. A second call to the now interim principal was equally failing.
So the next day when that little red flyer smirked up from the pile on my kitchen table, I accidentally read it. The flyer was an advertisement for a summer pottery camp, not in any way affiliated with the school. Just junk mail. I did what any reasonable person would do; I got out my sharpie. In big bold letters across the back, I poured this:
MY CHILD’S EDUCATIONAL FACILITY IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT BOARD. PLEASE TAKE YOUR SOLICITATIONS ELSEWHERE.
Stuffed, stamped and sealed, it’s in the mailbox. A few days later, after my blood pressure has come down, I realize that my actions were a bit of an unnecessary fit, but I don’t think I care.