It used to be that all kids needed when they headed off to school was a few pencils, some paper and a readiness to learn. But these days, with school budgets stretched to their limits, parents are often asked to pick up the tab for a lot more than basic classroom supplies. In fact, at a school in Ireland, parents are being asked to provide something that hardly qualifies as a school supply at all: Toilet paper.
In a note that was sent home with students, the principal of St John’s Girls National School in Carrigaline informed parents that their daughters might be asked to bring in a roll of toilet paper now and then. The note goes on to promise that these parent-provided rolls of toilet tissue will be used only by the students in their child’s classroom.
How does that work exactly? Do they keep the toilet paper in the classroom and carry it to and from the bathroom as needed?
However they work it out, some parents are upset that their kids are being asked to provide their own roll. But this, I fear, is only the tip of the iceberg. With many schools in dire financial straights, it is increasingly common for parents to be asked to provide every single thing a child might possibly use at school — and then some. I’ve never figured out what they do with the plastic baggies, printer labels and staples I am asked to provide. What about you? What’s the oddest thing on your child’s school supply list?