But Chuck Sheketoff, executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, calls Scratch-it for Schools the “new Joe Camel.” He says the “cynicism” of the State Lottery brings back memories of the RJ Reynolds mascot used to market cigarettes to young people.

He believes that lottery games have been viewed as a panacea for school funding shortages, while validating gambling in the eyes of the students.
He pointed out that some participating districts have policies prohibiting student gambling. In fact, school officials were encouraged to fill out the registration on their home computers because some school computers ban access to the Oregon Lottery’s Web site.

“Many school computers apparently put lotteries in the same category as pornography when it comes to online access,” Sheketoff said.

Director of Community Relations and Communications with the Salem-Keizer School District Jay Remy said the district doesn’t have a policy regarding Scratch-it for Schools.

This year Brush College Elementary School and Crossler Middle School in Salem have been chosen to take part. Last year Candalaria Elementary School in Salem won $919 and Clear Lake Elementary School in Keizer won $1,066.

That’s a lot of pink pearl erasers.