I couldn’t agree more with this e-mail from John:

I need to sound off about this subject. I heard on the CBS news at the top of the hour, a group of students (somewhere) refused to sell candy as a fundraiser in their school. The said it would be hypocritical to sell candy because of the effects on your health. The selling of candy, wrapping paper, desserts, and other “junk” is annoying to me as a parent.

Do our schools really have so little money that they have to force the kids to peddle goods to raise money?

What really burns me up is this: My daughter came home with a letter from her school principal that told the kids to sell magazines to friends and family. The fundraiser company is asking of the name and addresses of seven friends and family so that company can “guilt” those people into buying a magazine to help my daughter. Now here’s the kicker!! The kids that turn over the names will get a bag of Jolly Ranchers Candy & a light up key chain.

Now here is the part that makes me a bad parent in the eyes of my child: She was the only kid who did not participate in the fundraiser. The only kid whose parents would not give names of friends to direct marketers. My daughter did not see it that way. She only saw that she was the only kid in class not to get candy and a flash light.

Does this tick off any one else but my wife and me? Using kids to sell magazines?

I sent a note to school telling the teacher: I will gladly buy whatever her class needs — if she does not do the fundraiser. Worse of all, the marketing company get about 60%+ of the funds raiser on these deals.

John, you’re not alone in this — I’m with you. After letting it go a couple of times, my wife and I refuse to let our daughter be turned into a door-to-door salesperson, or annoy her grandmothers and aunts and uncles over the phone for these fundraisers. If the teacher needs help buying supplies, I’ll happily write the check, but there’s a reason we have child labor laws in this country.

I don’t have a problem when she and her friend set up a lemonade stand on the corner, but they do that for fun, not to keep an educational institution afloat — and they keep 100% of the proceeds from the lemonade they sell, as opposed to the huge percentage the marketing firms take off the top before the schools see the first dollar.