Proposed school board policy will deeply impact school fundraising

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on this and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

Feb. 2, 2019 — Although I am a teacher at Siuslaw High School, I am representing myself only as a mem-ber of the community and a school alumni member, not as a teacher.

In a few weeks, the Siuslaw School Board will be voting on whether or not to adopt new language to the Commercial Advertising Policy (KJ-AR, 2-2). The newly proposed language would force our school district into cutting ties with a number of businesses and organizations in the community that currently help support our school and student activities through their sponsorship.

The new being proposed language reads as follows:

“The administration shall always prohibit material that: advertises or promotes any product or services nor permitted to minors by law: OR will take place at an organization that conducts business that is illegal or inappropriate for minors.”

This language, if interpreted strictly, could mean losing out on thousands of dollars in sponsorships, donations, and scholarships simply because those fundraisers were associated with alcohol or any other behavior illegal to minors.

That language also implies that the schools can’t receive support in the form of advertisement from any businesses that advertise products or activities that minors cannot participate in. This would include Safeway, Fred Meyer and Bi-Mart, all which sell and advertise products technically illegal to minors — not to mention the numerous restaurants which sell alcohol but also sponsor our school through gym signs, athletic field signs and ads in the yearbook.

Are we really supposed to remove all this support under the guise that our students will somehow be corrupted by the legal activity of businesses that are being philanthropic in our community? It is not the casino or other business that are threatening our kids’ futures — it is the misuse of power by those elected to guide the school.

A sign in the gym that reads, “Three Rivers Casino” will not bother our students, but preventing them from attending the largest job fair in our area because it is held in the casino’s event center will.

Board members are not elected to enforce their personal morality on the district. In the end, it is an ethical decision: Is denying funding to our school because a few vocal community members are still opposed to the casino helping or hurting our kids? Mind you, nobody is talking about putting the casino or Beachcomber logos on report cards or your elementary kid’s class photo. 

Ultimately, it is our administrators who should be given the chance to make the right choice for each school.

What we need to do is to tell our board that adopting the strict language in (KJ-AR, 2-2) is not in the best interest of our students. Let them know how you feel by showing up to the board meeting on Feb. 13, or by emailing them at the link below — but please be polite and respectful if you do so.

(Siuslaw School District school board contact page link:

More In Opinion