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Leslie Becomes ‘Unleashed’ Over Elementary School Students Who are Punished For Not Participating in School Fundraisers

As you know, I can be VERY opinionated. Quite often, listeners will email me about things that just burn their butt. Maybe, because they think I will understand and get hot fired up too. Well, this is one of those issues that make me come unglued, even unleashed!!

Here is a recent email I received….

I have a 4 yr old that goes to preschool at ******** Elementary School here in ********** County, KY. I received a note saying that they are having a fundraiser by selling World Finest Chocolate Bars. Any student selling one box gets to participate in a fun day at school (outdoor games, snacks etc.). Those students not selling at least one box doesn’t get to participate in this event. I find this to be very unfair to some students. Some students parents just don’t care and some parents may have too much on their plate to take on this burden!! Whatever the reason I don’t feel it’s fair for a school to punish a 4-year-old for whatever reason they have for not selling candy bars!! I think you guys should talk about this on your morning show. I would like to know how others feel about this!!

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I have never been a member of the ‘over-protective parents society.’ I am a firm believer that LIFE is a lesson. The things that happen in your life, whether good or bad, are meant to make you a better, more socially conscience and emotionally healthier person. Children MUST learn from life’s disappointments. In adult life, you don’t always get the job you want; you don’t always get the same things other people have; you don’t always get the raise AND you don’t always get to drive the same kind of car your boss does. Just like you don’t always get first place, you don’t always get an A, you don’t always make the team, you don’t always get to be the teacher’s pet and you don’t always win. In saying that (or yelling that…lol), I must say, that punishing students because they aren’t able to sell fundraising candy is AWFUL!

I have worked in a school setting and I know money is hard to come by. School teams and organizations MUST do fundraisers. I understand that. But, my problem is that each child is different. Let me be more specific – each family is different. Some kids are in families that can barely afford to pay their bills. The last thing they are worrying about is whether or not the school gets new books for the library. Others are in families who have parents that work in a setting that allows them to take the candy to work and sell boxes and boxes. Great!! Or, there are even some parents that will just write a check for several boxes because they don’t have the time to worry about it. Even better!!

My point is, fundraising is not in the control of the children. It is in the hands of the parents. Whether the parents can just right a check or afford to drive them around, is NOT the fault of the child. Do we want them going door-to-door selling candy bars to neighbors you may not know just so they can play in the bounce house at recess? NO, we don’t! So I say, STOP punishing kids for not selling a certain amount of candy.

I’m sure the same schools that punish kids by not allowing them to be a part of the fun and games if they don’t sell enough candy are some of the same schools that are trying to ban the game of tag or awards day so that no one will feel bad or be set apart. Again, life is full of disappointments but banning activities that point out true achievement and replacing them with punishing children who don’t make the sales is pathetic.

If your child’s school punishes children who aren’t fundraising by excluding them from activities, contact both school and school system administration with your concerns. Then, make sure you let your child know how much they are appreciated at home with some good old fashioned family fun! Play a game of Candy Land, take the kids to Chuck-E-Cheese or do anything to spend quality time together. And, let me know how you feel about this issue!

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