Heck, even in the Dark Ages, we started the year with school supplies. I don't remember the teacher sending home a list; certainly it would have been a lot shorter (I'm pretty sure no one was expected to bring boxes of tissues, and hand sanitizer didn't exist.) But we were expected to have pencils, notebook, eraser, crayons, etc.
Come to think of it, there must of been some kind of list. In first grade, I was supposed to have thick pencils for some reason. The teacher kept telling me to use the fat pencils; my mother kept refusing to buy fat pencils because we had lots of regular pencils. Why did they keep telling me instead of each other?
I certainly understand getting frustrated with the sheer amount of stuff parents have to buy. School supplies for two kids ran me almost $200, counting sturdy backpacks. I had to buy the usual notebooks, paper, giant packs of pencils and pens, but I also had to buy plastic gallon bags, tissue, paper plates, paper cups, hand sanitizer, and dry erase markers for the classroom whiteboard. The amount of stuff that parents are expected to provide for classroom wide use is getting ridiculous.
But I certainly don't condone the way the dad behaved
One of the things that got me was hand sanitizer and hand soap , it seemed repetitive(they did have a sink in the classroom) dry erase makers would have made me batty ,is there something I don;t know about black boards? I respect teachers several people in my family are teachers but I remember 1st grade no teachers aid , no student teachers , no twice daily parent volunteers, no wet wipes ect... I don't see that my son came out of 1st grade with an experience that was better by 500 man-hours and $3000 dollars in supplies more expensive. I'm not complaining just musing about all the 'improvements " and how much they actually enriched education.
Chalkboards - Generally are not used because the dust created is not good for the computers.
Dry erase - Also I can have my kids use their entire desk for problem solving with a dry erase marker. We don't ask for these, but I buy them every 3 - 5 weeks or so. Example 1 example 2
Soap - our school provides
Hand sanitizer - I'm more likely to use that to clean off the kids desks after a day or two of problem solving with dry erase markers. Than to clean the kids hands. Soap and water is better, and our school tends to serve things like hamburgers that the kids touch the food. I hate the taste of sanitizer in my food. Flu season they use both. Quick clean with sanitizer then wash with soap and water.
Wet wipes, Good for a quick clean up. So we aren't dripping paint down the breezeway to the bathrooms. We have 1 sink and 60 kids the pod (Most pods have around 80 but 1 of our 4 rooms is Reading Recovery).
Computers/tablets/other tech - reality kids need to learn how to use them properly and integrated into all subjects not a different subject.
Also don't assume the teachers set the list or have any say in them at all. Ours is set by the district and we have ZERO say. We have tried to get things changed or removed completely (Like 3 inch binders that don't fit anywhere then the teacher gets written up because they look a mess) only to be told the district knows better, and the school built 2 years ago has no trouble storing them in a neat way. Of course they have shelves built in. My school was built in 1966, my cupboards doors can't be shut because they are uneven, I have "book case that is 9 feet long, that is more of a parallelogram because it has no back, no reinforcement at the corners.
Kariachi - I have the opposite of your story. Because I'm so paranoid about misspelling kids names, I often copy and past them from computer records. So a Mom complained that I was spelling her daughter's name wrong. The name could be spelled with a S or a Z. On the enrollment forms the Mom and written a Z but with rounded corners that looked like a backwards S. So the clerk and entered an S. All the teachers from PK - 4th had handwritten everything- so the Mom never noticed that some wrote an S instead of a Z. Because I typed everything she noticed. It was a mess to straighten out because she had taken TAKS in 3rd and 4th and her records on those had her name spelled wrong.
My cousin was named for someone. Her first and last name rhymed but her parents never intended for her to go by her first name she was to go by her Middle name. Well when she was in Kinder or 1st she had a teacher who REFUSED to call her by her Middle name because the register said her first name. Even after my Aunt, who you do not want to cross, spoke to her. So Aunt withdrew cousin, and reenrolled her the next day with J. Middle Name Last Name instead of spelling out the first name. She was called by her middle name after that.
Mom was also named after someone and went by a common nickname for that name. When she first went to school, she didn't really realize that her name was Proper name instead of nickname. So when the teacher called roll, Mom kept looking around for Aunt Proper Name because her Name was nickname. So the teacher, who knew full well who Mom was, punished her with the ruler. Then she did it again because Mom kept using her left hand. My grandfather took one look at that bruised swollen hand - and verbally took the teacher and principal apart. He made it crystal clear that there would be a huge amount of trouble if any of his kids were ever hit again. Mom was moved into the only other class for her age because the teacher was convinced that Mom using her left hand was a sign of the devil.