Anti-birth propaganda in school

A sign in a public high school exhorts students to use contraception, complains Father John Hollowell, who happened to be visiting Northview High in Indiana.

The math “project” hanging in the hallway reads – “Zero Population Growth…It’s Up To You – No More Than Two”. . . it has one smiley face representing 10 million people…and I mean look at the sign…if people keep having kids the smiley faces won’t fit in the box anymore!  Look how scientific it is (sarcasm). I thought we were separating church and state?

In most developed countries, the population crisis is that too few children are being born, writes the priest on his On This Rock blog.

Birth rates are approaching one child per woman in Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Eastern Europe . . .

When I told my parents I’d joined Zero Population Growth, a new high school club, my mother pointed out that they had four children. “Yes,” I said. “But I’m the second.”

About Joanne


  1. Looks like a suburban thing.  Any such signs hung in inner cities?  Any in Spanish?

  2. Deirdre Mundy says:

    This is obviously the work of evil tea partiers intent on bankrupting Medicare and Social Security. If they can’t convince the government to enact entitlement reform, they’ll just trick the younger generation into taking steps to insure that SS and Medicare can’t physically continue.

    It’s diabolically clever! Only someone with the power of Math would be able to see how they’re subverting the social safety net!

    • No, no no, this sign is brought to you by factions that want to rule the world by increasing their percentage in the population. Less of you means more of them when it comes to the popular vote.

  3. I wonder if that school would allow a banner that said “abortion is murder – don’t kill your child” with a picture of a fetus?

  4. I had 3 kids; 2 have none (one is a Franciscan Sister), the youngest had 3.

    If I could go back in time, I’d have continued having children. I like kids; I enjoyed the time I spent raising them. I’m sorry that I stopped when I did.

    ZPG is responsible for more problems than it could ever have helped – the failure of Social Security schemes is directly due to the push to reduce family size.

    • How did zpg work out for the world food supply?

    • Deirdre Mundy says:

      We’re about to have #6 (yes, we are stereotypical Catholic Homeschoolers.. 😉 ) But.., if we don’t hit at least 7, we’ll fail at ‘breaking even’ since none of our siblings have reproduced. To actually GROW the population, we’d need to have at least 8, and biology may catch up with us before we catch up with math!

      My kids regularly mourn their lack of cousins. I tell them that they’ll just have to work to make sure their nieces and nephews have what they never did….

      • Deirdre Mundy says:

        Though I find that the ‘waiting until you’re ready to have kids’ is a more pernicious ideology than ZPG. Because by the time you feel totally ‘ready’ to add a new short person to your life, it’s too late. If you’re young and married, have the baby now. You can build careers and buy houses later, and babies are actually pretty undemanding as long as you smile at them and feed them. They don’t really care about your balance sheet.

        • Truly. Three year olds love to play with boxes. As they get older, they want the newest X-boxes. 🙂

      • Stacy in NJ says:

        Congratulations, Deirdre!

  5. As a fourth child, I’m grateful my parents rejected the ZPG push.
    Also, replacement fertility is 2.1, not 2. This sign is advocating demographic decline, not just ZPG.
    Once while pregnant, I happened to be walking past a liberal arts college pushing a double stroller with both seats occupied. I overheard a co-ed on a bus stop bench say to her friend, “I don’t want that.” Based on what I see of non-religious educated Americans, many of them “don’t want that”. In fact, they are currently been taught that it is virtuous not to increase their carbon footprint via progeny.
    What kind of society will we have in forty years if the educated Americans don’t replace themselves?

    • Deirdre Mundy says:

      The funny thing is that large families have a smaller carbon footprint per person than these yuppy couples: We tend to have smaller square footage per person, body heat reduces heating bills, we eat beans and rice at least once a week, we use hand-me-downs instead of new and haunt yardsales and thrift shops, and we are astoundingly unlikely to jet off to Europe for a vacation or to buy expensive, imported, high carbon footprint foods.

      Families are actually the efficient way to house/raise/support people. To emulate our carbon footprint savings, the scolds would have to all go live on communes!

      • Quite. Families, particularly the bigger ones, also seem to be disproportionately likely to use family/child labor for things the affluent couples hire people (often illegal) to do; yardwork, cleaning/housework, small maintenance jobs etc. Our kids did regular chores and learned useful skills in the process: no college discoveries that new red sweats turn white shirts pink in the wash, no pizza-box-in-oven fires and the ability to cook real food.

        • Mark Roulo says:

          Have they yet learned that liquid dish soap is a *VERY* poor replacement for detergent? You know … in case you’ve run out of detergent 🙂

          • They did – well before they hit HS. Several years later, a soccer teammate, assigned to wash uniforms at an away tournament and unwilling to admit he’d never washed clothes before, demonstrated the principle. It was a two-fer; he put both navy and white cotton shirts, and white socks in a hot wash, necessitating an emergency Clorox run.

      • Stacy in NJ says:

        You’re also likely to be more productive (eventually). You and yours will produce more goods and services with a lower-life time carbon footprint.

  6. “The future belongs to those who show up”

  7. Richard Aubrey says:

    Kids are manipulable. That’s why contracts signed by kids aren’t legally binding.
    They can be swayed by authority figures when they don’t know enough to object to the premise.
    The sponsor of this absurdity should be employed far from kids for the rest of his life. The principal should have a swift course in discerning reality from fantasy. And should be asked if teaching a demonstrable falsehood is part of his school’s mission.

  8. Only imagine the furore if they did this in a majority-black school with a low SES. It’s more than a little offensive, but somehow, all sorts of offensive things can be pitched to suburban white children. For example, I have yet to see a black child wearing a “will sell my little sister for video games” T-shirt yet. But on a white kid, people think that’s “cute?”

    By the by, Joanne, how many children did you end up having? 🙂

  9. Crimson Wife says:

    Wow, that is so wrong. If my high school had posted something like that, I’d have been tempted to band together with some other Catholic students and the Mormons to file a religious discrimination complaint.

    I always wanted to have 4 kids, but after #3 was diagnosed with autism, we’ve pretty much ruled out having a 4th. If someone could guarantee us that #4 would not be any more severely impaired than #3, we’d go for it. But after having seen severely autistic children, we know that we would not have the financial or emotional resources to handle that possibility.

    Adoption is something we may pursue in the future.

  10. Deirdre Mundy — congrats and best wishes!

  11. Birth rates in the entire “1st world” are plummeting towards population crashes right now. Only in the “3rd world” is population growing at an impressive rate (in the one place it doesn’t need to be, ironically!)

    Things have gotten so bad that in many countries, such as France, Russia, and South Korea (to name a few), the government is offering some major incentives to have kids.

    Here in the U.S., our birth rate is just barely at the replacement rate, but that’s mainly due to immigration. In other words, the “1st world” Americans are about to be supplanted in their own country by the “3rd world” immigrants… And Europe is in even worse shape.

    Is this the preview chapter of the Death of The West?

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      I suppose it depends on what you mean by the “Death of the West.” Western culture and western values seem to be becoming more common all over the world. In that sense, the future may be the “Triumph of the West.”

      But if it means “proportionately fewer white people,” then yes.

    • I don’t know for sure that this is true, but read somewhere that France’s financial incentives haven’t done much to increase childbearing among the ethnic French but have increased it among Muslims – to a level significantly higher than found in Algerian Muslims.I don’t think that was the intent. Does anyone have a citation on that?