Students begging for fake charities
On weekends, and sometimes after school hours, scores of children can be observed at stoplights, on the streets, and in business places in the Corporate Area soliciting funds with 'begging sheets', claiming they are doing so on behalf of their schools.
On Saturday, THE STAR observed a group of four boys and a girl standing at a traffic light along South Camp Road in the drizzling rain, all armed with sheets of papers, knocking on car windows, while asking for contributions towards a school fundraiser.
However, several education stakeholders who spoke with THE STAR said that in such instances the children are soliciting funds under false pretence, as such types of fundraising are against school policy.
"I see them all the time in New Kingston. They will come to you with some flimsy sheet of paper saying they are doing some raffle, or they are seeking some funds for an activity," said Everton Hannam, head of the National Parent Teachers Association told THE STAR.
He said he even went as far as to contact one of the schools in question about the fundraising activity, but they were unaware that it was being done.
Similarly, principal at the Clan Carthy Primary School, Sheldon Palmer, told THE STAR that he has observed the act on several occasions, and he has warned his students not to engage in the dangerous act. He added that his colleagues at other school also shun the act.
"Even as a citizen while driving, I've seen students come to my window, saying that they are from schools, claiming to be begging, and when you look at the form, you realise it is not authentic. There are no stamps on it, or the stamps are photocopied, not original," Richards said.
He theorised that oftentimes parents and other adults play a role in facilitating the act, and he is crying shame on such behaviour.
When THE STAR contacted another principal, Althea Palmer of St. Aloysius Primary School, she shared that her school does not engage in such acts as it is against school policy. She also expressed concern for the safety of children who engage in the practice, calling it a very dangerous act, that leaves children vulnerable to all kinds of ails.
The matter has been brought to the attention of the police's communications head, Superintendent Stephanie Lindsey, who said she was not aware of the matter and would have to make checks with her colleagues before commenting.
The Child Development Agency's communications manager, Rochelle Dixon, has also promised to look into the matter.