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Say No to Corporations in Education

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Say No to Corporations in Education

Anonymous, Guest Contributor

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Corporate sponsorship is a form of sponsorship in which companies pay to be associated with a certain project or event. It’s a form of advertising; for example, companies like Nike and Champion will sponsor sporting events, providing equipment and other ends to players. Gaming companies will pay conventions to advertise their game, often hosting early access sessions where attendees can play a game before it hits the market. Corporate sponsorship is a clever and often effective form of advertising in this way; the company essentially hands someone a product that they get to use before they buy it themselves. The question remains, however: is corporate sponsorship good for schools?

Corporate sponsorships of schools definitely have their benefits. As previously stated, many athletic companies will sponsor sporting events; imagine a company sponsoring an entire sports program, giving the student athletes better equipment to train with, providing the foundation for them to grow and become the best they can be.

The situation is similar with tech companies and education. As our world grows ever more connected and advanced, technology becomes a necessity in order to survive. Companies like Apple or Microsoft providing a school with laptops could be a step in the right direction; more children become technologically literate by having it at their disposal and using it as a learning tool. Not only that, but information is more easily accessed; self-teaching becomes infinitely more possible with the Internet.
All of this sounds wonderful in theory. One can never go wrong with new gear, right? After all, newer is equal to better.

It’s important to remember, however, that schooling has ramifications. What one learns in their formative years stays with them after those years pass. As a result, while having a positive experience with a company is great, a company is a bigger, more powerful entity than a school. There’s room for corruption.

The main issue with corporate sponsorships of schools is that students become billboards, not people, to the companies providing benefits. Corporate sponsorship, as stated, is a form of advertising. Students are given new gear in the hopes that the public image of the corporation is improved. A business’s main concern is not a child’s learning experience; their main concern is making money, and by providing sponsorships, a child becomes a conduit through which the rich become richer.

Not only this, but these “conduit children” may later become adults who may have heavy biases in favor of the corporation who sponsored their education. Take Nike as an example; they recently went through a controversy because of their support of Colin Kaepernick, an NFL quarterback who protested police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem. Nike faced heavy criticism for this, being accused of not respecting the American military and flag. Many people had nuanced, well-thought arguments on why they either supported or condemned the manufacturer. An adult whose formative years were funded by the company, however, may have little more reasoning than “Nike gave me a uniform. I support them.”

These adults may also be more willing to turn a blind eye to the shady actions of the corporations. Let’s continue with Nike as an example; they’ve been heavily condemned for their use of sweatshops and unethical labor around the world. While many Americans already turn a blind eye to this issue, these “conduit children” would be even more willing to do so, the only reason being that Nike lifted them up while oppressing others.

Children should not be treated as walking, talking advertisements. They deserve so much more than just a sponsorship; they deserve a personal learning experience at the hands of individuals who care, not at the mercy of a cold, distant corporation whose best interests are their own revenue. The benefits of corporate sponsorship are purely materialistic. Is a laptop worth the risk of ignorant adulthood? The answer should be no; corporations and their money do not belong with our children.

**Please keep in mind that the opinions represented in this editorial do not reflect the thoughts of RHS Patriot Voice’s staff. These are the thoughts of the writer and the writer alone.

1 Comment

One Response to “Say No to Corporations in Education”

  1. Kevin Hernandez on April 22nd, 2019 8:58 am

    A great article with a lot of useful information. The article hooked me from the start and kept my attention throughout. I think that schools should have some form of sponsorship, as it has many benefits, but not completely rely on those sponsorships and over saturate schools with them.

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