New policy on student fund-raising approved

Student safety at core of board's decision to change existing policy
A new student fund-raising policy has been adopted for the Crook County School District.
   Meeting Monday evening in a work session, the Crook County School Board approved the new policy. Board members Jeff Landaker and Steve Caraway were absent, but all others approved the policy.
   "We voted on it last night," said Board Vice-Chairman Mark Severson. "My understanding is it goes into effect right away."
   "I'm just glad that we revisited it, revised it," Severson said.
   He said the new policy "provides stricter guidelines that would ensure the safety of our students and staff and allow them to raise funds for their activities."
   Severson was asked whether it is legal under Oregon law for a governing body to make a decision in a work session instead of a regular meeting.
   "My understanding is that if the meeting and agenda are advertised and open to the public, we can make decisions," the vice-chairman said. "That's my understanding and I believe that's the rest of the board's understanding."
   After more discussion, board members added language to the clause: "Additional preferred activities include those that encourage group participation, such as bazaars, carnivals, meal functions, bake sales, movies, dances or similar functions. Activities that simply ask for cash are not acceptable."
   The new language is "meal functions and bake sales from state and or local certified kitchens."
   The issue of student fund-raising came up again several months ago when board members had seen a photo in the "Central Oregonian" of Crook County High School Jazz Choir members going door to door, asking for money for a music trip. After seeing the photo, board members were concerned about student safety in general, believing that students could potentially put themselves in harm's way by going door to door. At the Dec. 3 board meeting, it was clarified that the fund-raising project in question had not been approved by Principal Jim Golden.
   The new policy also states that requests to hold fund-raising activities must be submitted to the building principals on a form. Additionally, "funds may not be raised for any purpose or activity contrary to board policy." Also, money raised through drives will be used for approved field trips, school related activities, and/or supplies, materials and equipment.
   "In sales programs at all levels, parental permission to participate must be obtained," according to the new policy. "Permission slips shall clearly state that no students should feel obligated to participate."
   "Cold-call door-to-door fund-raising is highly discouraged and should occur only with special administrative approval," according to the policy.