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Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

An unexpected visitor

Posted Friday, August 3, 2007, at 8:52 AM

Please note, this occurred in Tullahoma and not in Bedford County.


That was my reaction Thursday night after an unexpected little visitor stopped by the house.

I had just finished up the Shelbyville study session story for Friday when the soft tones of the doorbell sounded. I nearly didn't hear it due to having Otis Redding cranked, but I answered the door, thinking it was my Amazon package finally being delivered.

Instead, I found myself looking down at an obviously nervous young lad that looked about 11 to 12 years old. He had an envelope in his hand.

"Umm.... sir, I'm raising money for West Middle School and I was wondering if you..."

I can't believe this.

School just started in Tullahoma on Wednesday, and 24 hours later, they've already got these children going door to door, asking for money.

Poor kid. I didn't want to startle the boy, but I said pretty much the same thing to him. "You mean to tell me you've been in school just a little more than a day they've already got you doing fund raising???

The child sheepishly nodded in agreement.

"Shouldn't a kid your age be out playing with your friends?"

Heavy nod of agreement.

"I mean, aren't they suppose to be teaching reading, writing and the rest, instead of sending you out to shake down the public?"

OK, maybe that was a bit much, but I began to become a little upset as another thought began to occur to me.

It was dusk, and looking around my yard and the sidewalk, I saw no evidence of any parent or adult keeping an eye on this kid. I had not seen the boy before in the neighborhood and here he was, walking down a major state highway all by his lonesome, knocking on doors, pleading for funds.

With all the sickos in the world, sending a child out totally unsupervised like this to the homes of strangers is next to insanity. It's not like it was when I grew up anymore when you could trick or treat through the entire neighborhood and be absolutely sure you were safe.

Some nut could have pulled up, snatched the kid off the street and with all the traffic, no one would be the wiser until he was overdue at home.

I felt sorry for the kid and apparently, he picked up on this.

"So, would you like to subscribe to a ..."

Sadly, I had to send the boy away empty handed, but I can't help but wonder how important fund raising must be to schools to think of sending a child on the second day of school out to plead for cash in this way.

I'll be no doubt hearing from educators about this, touting the importance of raising cash but in these times, this practice is flat out dangerous. Hold a car wash. Have a yard sale.

But for pity sake, if you are going to send children door to door, at least make sure they are supervised. Educators are suppose to educate, and if something happened to one of these kids, the rest of the class would be getting a lessen too horrific to contemplate.

Showing comments in chronological order
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I am with you on this. I have a son his age and we do not do the fundraising. I understand the funds may be needed but to send kids door to door and only allow the ones who do to the pizza party is wrong to me. I would much rather donate items and time for a fundraising yard sale or car wash. This would give the child the positive experience of volunteering their time instead of the pressure of trying to sell something. After all I would say we need more future volunteers than salespeople.

-- Posted by DannysGal on Fri, Aug 3, 2007, at 10:25 AM

Well it has been said before...

"I long for the day when the military has to have a bake sale in order to buy bombs, and schools can get all the funds they need."

It is sad, though, that children at every age are subjected to fundraising. The idea itself, is not bad, because it gets children involved in something, yet there are precautionary measures that should be taken... While it is not wise for that boy to go door to door, unsupervised, that is a parents obligation, not the schools.

(Though I do agree the school itself should play more of a role in the fundraising activities, instead of sending KIDS home with an invoice sheet and a magazine for potential donators)

Schools should not be held to lower standards than armed forces in this country, but unfortunately our systems of checks and balances are null and void.

I feel for the kid who felt nervous for selling a product, he probably could care less about... But more so than that, the fact that a parent was not around to ensure his safety!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Fri, Aug 3, 2007, at 11:24 AM

I have 3 children in 3 different schools in Bedford County and I don't NOT allow them to participate in ANY fundraising schemes. They are allowed to help support the band program, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts. But living in a town with no family and having a limited number of people to sell to and then on top of that, they have been bombarded by 100 different kids selling items and then when my child doesn't sell "the standard" he or she is put into another classroom while the children that met the "standard" are enjoying a sundae/pizza party making my child feel like an outcast.

I would like to know why the money from your Precious Horseshow is not donated to the schools to keep small children from having to sell up to 4 different fundraisers a year. It is NOT my child's job to support the school. It is supposedly the job of the people who raise our taxes in the name of "education funding"

When school starts next week, I will send the appropriate supplies and I will send in the classroom fees for all 3 kids, but I guarantee you within 2 weeks they will send me a list of things that my children are already out of, and needed money to buy candy to hand out as treats and they will all come home with the required beginning school year fundraiser. I do my part, I make sure my kids have everything they need and we clip box tops for education, but as for the selling of "wrapping Paper" at $10 a roll..that just gets thrown in the trash.

-- Posted by stolen25 on Fri, Aug 3, 2007, at 1:05 PM

You have all just listed some of the many reasons why we are home schooling our children from now on.

-- Posted by jjones on Mon, Aug 13, 2007, at 9:38 AM

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Brian Mosely is a staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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