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Senior Contributor

Dumbest money ever spent by schools?

I see in this week's local paper an article about how the local school purchased over $4000 in supplies in case of a crisis.  The article states that the school purchased 70 red plastic buckets that will be filled with these supplies in case of a crisis.  We have two school buildings, one for elementary students and one for middle school and high school students.  The red buckets will be place in both buildings outside each class room as well as outside the two gyms and auditorium.  The article states the county emergency management coordinator helped choose what items were to be bought and placed in the 70 red buckets.


Each of the buckets contains:


Notebook and pen

Drinking cups (at least 21 per bucket)


Orange vest


Roll of paper towels

Wet wipes

Three plastic garbage bags

Hand sanitizer


Assorted sizes of safety pins

Rubber medical gloves


Two rolls of duct tape

Large black plastic drop cloth

(which can be duct-taped over the door to keep out chemical fumes or smoke from a fire)

Medium-sized bath towel

Gallon of water

Can of spray disinfectant

One pair of work gloves


Both school buildings are one story buildings and all class rooms have windows that can easily be used for emergency exits plus the two gyms and auditorium have multiple exits so I'm thinking in case of a fire it would be best for students to simply leave the building as opposed to try taping plastic drop cloth around doors to keep smoke out.  Our school also has a full time nurse that already has Band-Aids, disinfectant and other medical supplies if needed.


When I first read the article I thought I was watching Onion News.   I showed the article to my daughter home from college and she laughed.  She noted that the some of the items have an expiration date or time when they would no longer be good like the hand santitizer, disinfectant and batteries in the flash light.  Both of agreed that many of the items in the buckets placed in the hall ways of the high school will be stolen or vandalized.  As far as safety I'm thinking placing these buckets on the floors in the hall ways which can get fairly crowded in between periods would pose a far greater safety hazard from students tripping over them then any safety benefit they might offer.


Curious if any others have heard of similar programs at your schools?


5 Replies

Re: Dumbest money ever spent by schools?

There is no greater publicly funded boondaggle that has ever come along in the world of goofball governmental activity than the EMS culture and field staff that grew out of the moving of FEMA into the newly created HLS Department that came out of the Bush Administration's response to 9-11 and the War on Terror.  Makes TSA look like a bright shining star.


These people run out of manuals that lay out cookie cutter activites and solutions.  And budgeted to the eyeballs.  It's one of those "don't know whether to laugh or cry" when you see it in action deals, to the nines.


Hadn't heard about this one but absolutley nothing should come as  a surprise.


I doubt it cost the school a dime.  10 -15 years from now schools, courthouses, city halls and fire stations all over the country are going to have stuff laying around in closets and basements and store rooms that the next generatio of employees and volunteers are going to look at and say "What's with that?"



Senior Contributor

Re: Dumbest money ever spent by schools?

So far the school is on the hook for the bill.  The article states the school will be applying for a Worth County Development Authority reimbursement grant to help pay for all or part of the costs.  I'm guessing this has something to do with the money Worth County (located a couple counties north of us) gets from the Diamond Joe Casino located on Interstate 35 in their county.  If that's the case then a good share of the reimbursement will come from Minnesotans. 


I just wish they had done this years ago when my kids were still in school so I would not have had to buy so many pens and note books.

Senior Contributor

Re: Dumbest money ever spent by schools?

Speaking of "goofball governmental activity," our school system used to have a three story middle school building.   Several years ago the school system had a special needs student that was confined to a wheel chair.  I never understood why the student was in the public school as he had severe physical and mental disabilities and did not even know where he was let alone being able to learn on the level of a public school.   It was decided by a government agency that it was not fair that this student was only allowed to use classrooms on the lower floor so the school was forced to buy a special chair lift that was attached to the railings of the steps to allow the student to go to the top two floors.  The student needed a full time assistant to get around as he could not operate a manual or electric wheel chair.   A couple years after the student was no longer in that building it was decided by the state fire marshall that the chair lift was a fire hazard as took up a small portion of the stair well and the school was forced to remove it.

Senior Advisor

Re: Dumbest money ever spent by schools?

School in the next county south just built a $1,000,000 atrium at the entrance. Said they needed it for security purposes.

Senior Contributor

Re: Dumbest money ever spent by schools?

In the town near us they built a new school and the majority of the money, over half of the 30 million went for parking, auditorium and other play stuff but it was promoted as needed, "for the children."  A phrase I'm pretty sick of hearing.


It had some delays and while I was over at one of the farm stores in that town talking to a local he was telling me about the delays.  I told him that I'd heard the hold up was the inability for them to get the gold plating for much of the project.  He didn't laugh but took me seriously.