Teen blogger tells on his own school
Tuesday, August 11 2009
By Harriet Palmer | Taranaki Daily News
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A Taranaki 17-year-old has started an online campaign exposing what he labels a major fundraising “rip-off” by his own school.
Via his personal blog and networking sites Twitter and Facebook, New Plymouth Boys’ High School student Kyle Wadsworth claims $500 presented by the 1340 student school to KidsCan at Sunday’s telethon was only a fraction of that raised at a mufti-day held for the event.
While principal Michael McMenamin says it is well-known school policy that a percentage of raised funds is kept for sports teams and extra-curricular activities, Kyle is continuing his crusade.
He states the school told students in a newsletter the $2 per student was being collected for charity KidsCan and they were not informed any would be kept by the student council.
On his blog, Kyle’s Blog under the heading “Telethon Ripoff”‘, he writes “was looking forward to the school donating a mass-amount to such a good cause that wasn’t sport or IT or any crap like that.”
With more than 200 followers on both Facebook and Twitter and the same number of hits yesterday on his blog, Kyle is making sure his message gets out there.
Commenters have joined Kyle’s chorus and he said he had received messages of support from as far away as Australia and from fellow-students to Telstra Clear executives.
Kyle was standing by his decision to post, despite initially feeling “a bit bad” for attracting condemnation to his school.
Mr McMenamin said the students raised around $1000 for the telethon at the mufti-day, which had been scheduled before it was decided any money would go to the event.
While it was usual school procedure to give $200 after each fundraising day to a charity, it had been decided to give $500 this time. “The kids know that, they’ve been told that. I thought that was very generous [giving $500]. Usually it goes to sports teams.”
Mr McMenamin said the school council would not be giving more of the money raised to KidsCan as it was “just not an issue”.