Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Your child's public education... brought to you by PETA

Schools in Montrose, Michigan, are hard-pressed for funding these days, but WCRZ reports that a well-known international not-for-profit organization is willing to help out.

With one catch:

That's right. PETA wants to sponsor Montrose schools in return for placing anti-dissection messages in the hallways.

PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman says

"Encouraging students to cut up animals who often suffer a terrifying and painful death teaches them that the lives of others don't matter. Our offer is a win-win solution: The school district would receive needed funding, and students would receive invaluable lessons in compassion and good science."

Win-win? From a marketing point of view, perhaps. I covered another Michigan PETA effort against dissection in April, mostly because it involved Iggy Pop. It's a good issue for them to focus on, because it's easy for mainstream people to identify with unnecessary death and gore.

But will it end with dissection? PETA is not exactly an organization I want having a lot of influence in the halls of education.

The problem is that, once schools become dependent on non-public funding, they are susceptible to influence. And that influence could easily involve other PETA pet issues, such as promoting veganism by vilifying all animal products, even milk.

Oh yeah, and then there's the question of their track record of recruiting young women to get naked for the cause. Handy to have their URL right on the locker, eh?

But don't think I'm exclusively bashing on PETA. Corporate sponsorship of education is just a bad idea all around — whether it's bringing fast food into the cafeteria, pop machines to fund events, or even a non-profit with a passionate agenda. That's not the way public education is supposed to work.

Care about education? Vote for better public funding. When it comes to our future, we'll get what we pay for.

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