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An 'F' for fundraisingPosted Thursday, September 6, 2007, at 10:17 AM
Journalism students at a high school in Naples, Fla., are graded on how many yearbook ads they sell.
"The syllabus says $600 in ads gets an A; $500, a B; $400, a C; $300, a D; and less than $300, an F," reports WBBH-TV in Fort Myers.
"It bothers me," a school board member told WBBH. "I don't think you should be able to buy a grade."
Sounds like something that could happen in Bedford County.
Yes, selling can be perceived as helping students' social and math skills. No, students shouldn't be expected to financially support their schools. That's one reason we pay taxes.
Grading all journalism students on sales skills is ridiculous. I served on a yearbook staff and, as I recall, the ad salespeople had specifically applied for their positions. And, in the adult media world, journalism and sales skills often don't mesh.
In the next few months many of us will be bombarded with students -- and, often, their parents -- selling overpriced candy, food or household items. I make it a point to support co-workers' children's fundraisers -- and I'm glad to do so -- because I work with good people and honestly, I usually like the food they're selling. Even if I can buy it cheaper at a store where more kids may be standing outside the front door asking, "Would you like to buy..."
I'm not complaining at all about children and/or their parents coming to me and asking.
It's just the basic idea that children shouldn't have to be selling products.
Would you hire a 9-year-old as a sales clerk? Case closed.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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