30th August 2006
My kids all go back to school next week, so naturally we have been getting together their school supplies for the year. Most of the items are standard: duotangs, paper, pens, pencils (HB pencils of course!), etc. What caught my eye, however, was a note on one of my kid’s supply list that White Out (aka Liquid Paper, white correction fluid, etc.) wasn’t permitted “for safety reasons.” This was the first time for this sort of notice.
My first thought was “Huh?! Why in the world are they banning White Out?!” I considered this to be another example of elementary schools going nuts with silly rules. But why White Out? Did the caretakers finally get sick and tired of cleaning it out of the carpet? Were teachers scared that students would hurl the little white bottles at each other?
As it turns out, I guess in some schools sniffing correction fluid has been an issue. In the 1980s a kid even died from sniffing the stuff. The state of Texas even had an ad campaign highlighting the dangers of sniffing correction fluid:
So there you go… I guess I have been corrected! File this in the “things I didn’t realize” folder. Of course, since the 1980s the manufacturers of correction fluid have changed their formulas so that it isn’t as much of an issue any more. You can even get water-based correction fluid that won’t even give you a buzz.