Parents Upset That Schools Are Sending ‘Communal’ School Supply Lists — ‘Why Would I Buy Supplies For Someone Else’s Kid?'

Is this something to complain over?

school supplies and @thebossyhouse tiktok school supply list Laura Riveria via Unsplash / @thebossyhouse via TikTok

Many parents and their children enjoy the beloved back to school time where they go shopping for all of their child’s school supplies ranging from pencils and pens to glue sticks and backpacks. However, one school district decided to make a change to how they distribute school supplies — and many parents are unhappy.

Parents were upset because school districts created “communal” school supply lists.

A mother on TikTok named Julie posted a video to TikTok discussing how her daughter's school district sent out a letter composed of recommended school supplies to buy for the children in her daughter’s grade.


The handout read, “We will collect these supplies at that time and distribute them for use throughout the school year.” Julie explained that “Aside from that backpack, nothing else will be personalized.”



Many parents in the comments were frustrated with this new decision. Some said, “That's not happening with my kids,” explaining that parents should buy for their own kids while items such as tissues and hand sanitizer should be provided by the schools


Most parents agree that glue sticks, crayons, and other supplies of that nature are okay to be communal. However, these parents explained that they will buy expensive pencil holders for their children and that their children should not have to share them. Some agreed to write their child’s name on their belongings such as folders and special notebooks.

Julie shared another video about a parent who left a nasty comment on her post.

Julie explained that “your kid wants to be a part of the community.”

One parent wrote a vulgar comment about her child having her own things. The comment read, “I’m happy to provide extra for the community but my child's things are her things! Sorry you’re poor but I’m not.”

Julie responded in a follow-up video explaining that children know when their parents are difficult and how these children often make deals with their teachers to avoid talking to their “crazy, disruptive” parents. 




She explained that children want to be a part of a group. They want to use the same glue sticks, they want to use shared crayons and they don’t want to go through their bags to get their personalized pens and pencils.

Julie even went as far as to explain that children oftentimes are embarrassed of their personalized things because truthfully, “not all kids have a sparkly pencil.”

The mom also discussed that sharing certain supplies saves money and helps teachers organize them better, making them last longer. 


Julie explained that a parent's actions have severe repercussions for their children as they are “embarrassed by their behavior.”

Despite Julie’s positivity, some were still adamant about their children having their own fancy, special supplies. There’s nothing wrong with buying your kid supplies for their personal use only, but there’s never a need to fight online about it. If your child wants to share, they will, or won’t.

This video got widespread attention and was picked up by another TikTok creator, who discussed Julie’s video and explained how “she’s fighting for her life in her own comment section.”

Mocking the angry parents, Erica Nicole said, “Some said that I work hard and I want my children to enjoy her number two pencils all by herself."




She made fun of the parents who claimed that they didn’t want their children to be “taken advantage of” by second graders. I don’t think second graders are focused on “taking advantage” of their classmates for having a few extra pencils and pens.

Nicole wrote in the comments, “Lol but seriously no one said they can’t also buy the cute/fancy stuff! They’re just making up additional rules so they can be mad."

A lot of TikTokers made jokes about the angry moms and wrote, “Sharing glue sticks is wrong! I give my girls special gluten-free glue sticks for their snacks. Oh wait.. Wait…”


Many said that parents should be angry with school districts for not providing some of these school supplies.

It’s important to mention that nobody said parents should not or could not buy their children fancy and special school supplies. If you have the money, it’s not a bad thing to get your kid personalized supplies. 

However, it’s also not a bad thing to have communal supplies as some parents can barely afford school supplies, and it’s not a bad thing to distribute other supplies for children in the same grade. Sharing is caring, and being a part of a community is welcoming and practically essential for kids.

Overall, this should be something to be proud to be a part of. Buying school supplies can be traumatizing to parents who can barely afford them, so helping out should be something you pride yourself on. Instead of screaming and fighting with your school district, perhaps do your part and help out children who need it.

In this world, it's time we started helping instead of hurting.


Cortney Crowell is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango from New Jersey who covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.