Back To School: Hilarious viral video post declares to teachers, 'you take my kids, I'll get you that binder'
Posted August 30
By now, millions of us have seen the viral video rant from Dena Blizzard, a comedian and mom of three, as she rolls through the aisles of a Target on a back-to-school shopping trip. In it, she talks about the parents, who complain about the long back-to-school lists we've all gotten from our kids' schools that seem to go on ... and on ... and on.
Here's Blizzard take on the situation: Suck it up.
In the video, now viewed more than 40 million times, Blizzard says she's more than happy to get whatever her kids' teachers need because, after a long summer vacation, she's ready to turn them over to somebody who actually knows how to teach them some history or math.
"Listen. It's the end of August. I will give you anything to take my kids. I'll get you a yellow binder or get you a red binder," she says. In the process, she's throwing in a microwave, a welcome mat, a rug and more into her cart. "You want a pillow? I'll get you a pillow," she says. "I can tell you right now those teachers aren't at home saying, 'Hey, you know what would be nice for my house? A ruler.'"
Here's Blizzard's viral video. (Caution: There is some cussing and a few swigs from an airplane bottle of something).
Here's my take on Blizzard's video: Truth!
I grew up watching my own mother, a long-time teacher, spending countless hours at home making lesson plans and grading papers. I also saw her filling shopping carts with supplies to stock her classroom. Things were better back then in the 1980s. Janitors actually came through and cleaned her classroom on a regular basis. She didn't need to ask for bottles and bottles of cleansers or wipes to make sure the room wasn't completely germ-ridden.
Today, after eight years as a public school parent, I'm sad, disappointed, frustrated and more that my back-to-school list is so big. I spent about $200 on back-to-school supplies for my two children. My daughters will likely not use many of those items. I know, full well, that those crayons, scissors, lined paper, colored pencils, copy paper and glue sticks will go into a communal pot for all of the kids to share.
(Pro tip: If you're a parent of a kindergartner or new to public schools, be prepared that many of those supplies that you brought in to school will not be used exclusively by your child, but will be shared by the entire class. So, don't bother getting that special, fancy pair of scissors or glitter crayons just for your child. It's likely that they'll never use them).
I'm totally fine with that because I want teachers to have absolutely everything they need to do their job right.
And, what's the alternative?
I can't expect my kids' teachers, on their meager salaries, to cover the costs of tissues and extra pencils and notebooks for kids, who don't bring in their own.
Though I wish I could, I can't expect every parent to be able to afford to spend $200 on supplies. Here's a fact: In the Wake County Public School System, one out of three kids, through absolutely no fault of their own, are eligible for free and reduced lunch.
So, as some people have suggested online, should we teach their parents a lesson and not provide anything for those kids at school? As some have suggested, should parents who can't provide these things for their kids just not send those kids in to school? Or, should those of us who are able to afford those extra pencils, do what we can to ensure they have the tools to get the best education they can so they don't continue that cycle of poverty?
And I certainly can't expect the government to chip in since they are struggling to pay for even the basics. At one of my kids' schools, the gym has flooded regularly and the aging modular unit where my daughter spends most of her day has lots of "new friends" in it, I'm told. These aren't new kids. They are spiders and other creepy crawlies that lurk in the corners or walk right across the carpet. Those problems pale in comparison to the situations at other schools around here. Two Granville County elementary schools couldn't open on Monday because of mold and air quality concerns.
I am thankful for churches and other nonprofits, who step up each year to provide for kids and schools. Those include school PTAs, who do all that they can to ensure that kids and teachers have what they need. (Reminder: Renew your PTA membership for the year).
But I'm also more than happy to pay for a few binders and rulers and big packs of copy paper that might just get shared with my kids' entire class and may even go to a child, who didn't bring in anything. And when my kids' teachers ask for more supplies, I'm more than happy to pony up.
Thank you, teachers!
Sarah is the mom of two and Go Ask Mom's editor.