If someone offered you a dollar a year to advertise to your child, potentially putting your child’s safety in jeopardy, would you do it? Of course not. Yet that’s what many school districts are doing by placing ads on the exterior of their school buses.
CCFC members have helped defeat legislation that would allow advertising on school buses in states around the country. Currently, only ten states—Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah—allow advertising on the exterior of school buses. If you live in one of those states, your school board needs to hear why school buses should remain commercial-free.
Click here to download a sample letter to send to your school board.
The financial plight of schools is extremely worrisome, but turning school buses into traveling billboards for everything from fast food to violent and sexualized media is not the answer. Advertising on school buses exploits a captive audience of schoolchildren and undermines the efforts of parents who wish to shield their children from commercial influences. It also undermines the educational process. Anything advertised on a school bus will have that school’s implicit endorsement, even if it’s a product that undermines a child’s well-being. School bus advertising may even make school buses less safe: the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services opposes allowing advertising on the exterior of school buses because of concerns it will distract other drivers.
While it is wrong to sell out students at any price, school bus advertising hardly generates any income for schools. Information CCFC has obtained shows that school bus advertising has earned schools, on average, less than one dollar per student per year.
If you live in one of these states which permit advertising on school buses:
Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah
contact your school board to urge them to keep ads off school buses.
Let’s keep school buses commercial-free.