Monday, August 12, 2002

Propaganda Mills

This article about anti-tobacco curriculum in Maine schools, is similar to the anti-tobacco effort funded by Proposition 10 tobacco tax money in California.

"One of the best things that happened in our district last year was about a half-dozen high school kids — all smokers —went to meet with fifth-graders," said the 32-year-old Pittston resident. "They talked to them about smoking, they told horror stories about what the cigarettes had done to them, how hard it is to quit. The fifth-graders really took it to heart. With tobacco, you have to start early. A recent study said kids are exposed to their first opportunity to smoke in fifth grade. These are 8- and 9-year-olds and they're being handed a cigarette."

The other two top priorities of the new curriculum will be getting students to increase their physical activity and eat healthier foods."

My "new" local elementary school, looks like a prison rather than a school: gates locked at all times, no playground equipment, and signs literally every 5 feet around the school pronouncing it a "Tobacco Free School." I'm relieved, because as a potential school customer, I would be more concerned about my son's first-grade teacher offering him a cigarette than teaching him to read. Please. Do we really need a couple thousand dollars in signage at our local school to convince us that our children will not be exposed to tobacco while sitting in the school buildings.

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