Pencil Manufacturers Sued


WASHINGTON (BNN) — For the past thirty years America's public schools have been producing students who are increasingly less educated. Democratic politicians across the country feel that pencil manufacturers are the ones responsible for creating this education crisis and are filing lawsuits against them.

One of the cities suing the pencil industry is Oakland, California. Said one Democratic City Councilwoman in Oakland, "It is an undisputed fact that 99% of all American public school students use pencils on a daily basis. These pencils are faulty because they allow students to spell words incorrectly, as well as commit grammatical and mathematical errors. It is time that pencil manufacturers be held accountable for their role in producing inferior students."

The City of Atlanta is also suing pencil manufacturers. The Mayor of Atlanta told BNN, "The pencil makers currently have technology available to put 'Student Safety Devices' on their products. But they refuse to do it. These 'Student Safety Devices' would prevent students from committing academic errors and help them to be better pupils . Our lawsuit is designed to send a message to pencil producers that we will no longer allow them to victimize the children in our school district."

Pencil manufacturers, however, claim that their products do not cause students to commit academic errors. Said Lawrence McDowell of the Sanford Pencil Company, "A pencil is an inanimate object. It is a tool which a student uses at his or her ability level. In the hands of an intelligent and educated student it can be used for producing excellent academic work. In the hands of a lazy student, who watches nine hours of television a day, a pencil is used to produce inferior academic work. The pencil is not responsible for creating either the excellent work or the inferior work."

The Mayor of Atlanta disagrees with McDowell. Said the Mayor, "That defense is straight out of the National Pencil Association (NPA) handbook. We are trying to do something that will help our students perform better in school. But it is obvious that all they care about is their profit margin."

While the lawsuits against the pencil manufacturers move forward, Democrats on Capital Hill are planning to introduce 'Pencil Control Legislation' that would require every pencil to have a 'Student Safety Device' installed. Republicans, who have traditionally sided with the National Pencil Association are showing signs that they may cave to public pressure and vote with Democrats on this bill.

More on this story as it unfolds.

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1999 BNN
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