This school is brought to you by… – student is suspended for wearing Pepsi shirt – News Debate

What would you have to do to get suspended from school? How about wearing a shirt with a Pepsi logo? That’s what high school senior Mike Cameron of Evans, Ga., did.

Officials at Cameron’s school, Greenbrier High, had planned Coke in Education Day in hopes of winning a $10,000 prize in a contest sponsored by the Coca-Cola Co. The school invited Coke executives to discuss business practices and to help chemistry students do experiments that involved Coca-Cola.

At the end of the day, 1,230 students posed for a photo wearing red-and-white shirts, spelling out the word Coke. Before the picture was taken, Cameron took off his shirt to reveal the Pepsi shirt he was wearing underneath. Gloria Hamilton, Greenbrier’s principal, suspended Cameron for one day. Cameron, she said, was “deliberately being disruptive and rude.”

Big Bucks for Billboards

Some people are saying that the Greenbrier incident is an example of corporate America trying to control kids’ spending habits by influencing kids in schools. Some schools have contracted with companies to place ads in school gyms and on school buses.

Kids are already bombarded with advertising, critics argue–they don’t need to see more at school. “We want young people who think for themselves,” said Laurie Lieber, parent of a Berkeley, Calif., student.

Advertising, opponents argue, destroys the trust between school officials and students.

It Beats Taxes

Supporters of advertising in schools point out that ads can generate extra money for schools. That money can be used to add new faculty or to pay for student activities and school improvements without raising taxes in those communities. “This is a way to obtain funds without having to resort to public tax dollars,” said Mac Bernd, an Arlington, Texas, school official.

Large corporations, supporters of advertising in schools point out, are paying for advertising everywhere one looks these days. Kids see ads at sporting events, on the Internet, at the movies, and in magazines and newspapers. Seeing ads at school, they argue, is the same, except that school ads can pay for books, buildings, and activities that students need.

Would ads in your school be helpful or harmful to students? Why?

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