If one of the territory’s public schools students approaches an individual, business or stranger, carrying a letter or donation sheets seeking funds for a school, that activity is not sanctioned by the school district or the V.I. Department of Education, the DOE warned Tuesday in a news release.
“I have witnessed and have received reports of students from various schools that are on the streets or outside public facilities soliciting funds from persons in the community, including strangers,” St. Thomas-St. John Superintendent Jeanette Smith-Barry said recently. “These children carry pieces of paper or letters that appear to support their claim of raising funds for some school-related activity, but in some instances the letters have not even been approved by the school. We want the public to know that this kind of solicitation is not sanctioned by my office or the department.”
Smith-Barry said that the public school system alway appreciates support for the schools, allowing students to solicit funds in this manner raises questions. In some cases the fundraising has been found to be fraudulent.
“There is no way of knowing how much money is actually collected by the students, how much of the collection is actually turned in, or if forms used outside the campus are duplicated and used by unauthorized individuals,” she said.
Smith-Barry recently reminded all district principals to make the policy clear to all students and staffs.
“More importantly, we are concerned about our students approaching strangers and collecting large sums of money,” Smith-Barry added. “This could pose a serious safety threat and we are asking all principals, school employees and parents to help us safeguard against potential danger by making sure these activities are discontinued.”