Scholastic, the children's book publisher, took a big pile of money from the American Coal Foundation and turned it into a curriculum for 4th graders that (surprise!) didn't mention any of the drawbacks of coal. Now Scholastic is all sorry it pimped out America's kids to the industry that quite possibly cares least about their future. Or at least, it’s sorry it got caught.
So the good news is that Scholastic won't be passing out copies of its pro-coal curriculum, and also the American Coal Foundation comes out looking like the cynical disinformers at the Tobacco Institute, just like always.
The bad news is that Scholastic's "InClassroom Marketing" program still exists, and is every bit as insidious as its camel-cased Newspeak title suggests. Previous clients have included makers of a television show aimed at preschoolers and McDonald's.
No word yet on whether Scholastic will be changing its motto to "Selling your kids on diabetes, climate change, and the educational benefits of television since whatever year those industries drove a dump truck full of money up to our offices.”
Why is Scholastic Selling Kids on Coal?, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
Get Grist in your inbox