The New Red Scare

The following is an excerpt from a Sept. 7, 1995 editorial by Jo Ann Sloan for the Livingston Ledger, a Livingston County weekly in western Kentucky.

On the first day of school, parents of second-grade students at Smithland Elementary received a list of supplies their children must provide. I was more concerned by the letter that preceded the list. Here is the first paragraph:

"We will be using the community supply system (my ital.) where children are allowed to use all available supplies from the community supply box on their table. Please do not put your child's name on any of their supplies since they will be used by many of the children."

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It is hard to explain my reaction. I suppose it is best described as anger and fright. Anger that a socialist system of handling a child's school supplies would be introduced into schools; and fright that American citizens have become so complacent about democracy that such a system could even be contemplated. The "community supply system" mandated by second-grade teachers reeks of socialism.

[D]emocracy and capitalism may not make for a perfect society, but history should have taught us they work better than anything else we humans have come up with. Our children should not be forced to participate in anything that will undermine those principals [sic].