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Friday, April 17, 2009

future lab.


From Toronto Sun

Letting businesses sponsor classrooms and programs risks student education being overtaken by commercialism, Toronto public school trustees were warned last night.

Accepting sponsorships makes schools obligated to corporations, which has created problems in some American schools, U of T political science student Jayme Turney told the TDSB's planning and priorities committee.

In one U.S. school, a student who showed up on "Coke Day" wearing a Pepsi logo T-shirt instead of the beverage sponsor's shirt given to students for a rally "was suspended," said Turney.

The board is considering its first commercial brand sponsorship -- contents of classrooms in two city schools offered by Future Shop -- since changing its guidelines in February.

Future Shop is providing $4,000 scholarships for 55 students across Canada to help them improve their education and sponsored its first pilot lab in Surrey, B.C., with state-of-the art computers for a drafting classroom, spokesman Cheryl Grant said.

"The community actually came to us," Grant said. "A Toronto school came to us last year and asked us for money."

The school board volunteered the names of five schools for Future Shop to consider for its second and third Canadian sponsorships, she said.

A staff report noted Future Shop has a "design element that they would like to see common to all labs ... a light grey paint on the walls and a red stripe border."

But repainting sponsored classrooms in Future Shop colours "is wasteful," Turney told trustees.