The U-B’s opinion of March 2, “White House plan to ban soda ads misguided,” argues in favor of allowing advertising in schools.
Advertising on billboards in the public square tries to persuade people to buy a product; a cheerful face smiles and holds a bottle of soda. This is a form of free speech that drives our economy.
Everyone knows that it operates by manipulation, but we allow it to do its business and we recognize our abilities to resist its temptations. We aren’t going to rush out to buy the soda, just because of that nice smile.
Public schools have the task of educating citizens for democracy. Casting a wise vote requires learning about issues and coming to reasoned judgments.
Taxpayers’ dollars are spent to help young people learn to reason, so they can guide our country well.
Everything about a public school should support the education of its students and the development of their abilities to reason.
Advertising only rarely uses reason, and often works powerfully against reason. Advertising in public schools conflicts with the central function of public schools.
The U-B was wrong to offer any support for advertising in our public schools, especially on the grounds that it brings in revenue.
No one should be able to buy the attention of our students; they are in school to learn how to decide what deserves their attention.