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As I read the paper this morning about another free school supplies program ("Harris School students get free supplies, backpacks" Aug. 16), one must wonder -- is this the students' first lesson of the school year, modern socialism in action? Although I believe no student should go without proper school gear, it should be done as a last resort. The parents need to be responsible for such basic needs. These so-called “free” programs often lead to future dependency. One might wonder if cash payments for school attendance is the next step.

Alan McArthur, Decatur 

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