St. Stephen — Parents in the scenic border town are becoming increasingly frustrated with the endless lists of back-to-school supplies their children require. Mom and dad are on the hook to purchase supplies that were previously provided by schools; while schools have cited budget cuts as the reason, parents say that, this year, schools have gone too far.
In a poll conducted by The Manatee, nearly 80 percent of St. Stephen parents agreed that the demands put upon them by schools are just too much. “I can’t keep up. It’s crazy!” exclaimed Martine Arseneau, mother of 2. “When I was a kid, our folks just bought each of us a Campfire notebook, a new lunchbox — I had a Charlie’s Angels one — and some of that tasty glue. Lepage’s Mucilage, I think.”
One of the many back-to-school lists provided by teachers of St. Stephen Elementary School included the following:
- at least 12 binders
- a pack of pens
- a pack of coloured pencils
- a scientific calculator
- a change of clothes for accidents or spills
- a Geiger counter
- a pair of roller skates
- two tickets to the next Cirque du Soleil production
- a Fitbit Surge
- Season 10 of Friends on Blu-ray
- a bottle of Teacher’s Highland Cream Scotch Whisky
“It’s more like a scavenger hunt than a school-supplies list,” said another irate parent. “I had to drive across the lines to Calais, Maine, to get roller skates that would fit my kid’s teacher’s feet. And who uses calculators anymore? Everyone’s got their smartphones.”
Anglophone School District – South administrator Steven Davidson admitted that the demands on parents can be daunting, but said they should consider it an investment in the future, since the kids will be the ones eventually choosing their parents’ retirement home.