Civvies Fundraising Scam Continues At Loyola

Lying To Get Money From Students
The dark side of the long running Civvies day scam "only available" at your local Catholic High School 

Opinion - October 8, 2018

Here's how the scam works Firstly, offer every Catholic high school student something they can't resist like the opportunity to ditch their uniform for a day. Secondly, tell them they need to pay a dollar or two and that the money they collect will go to charity, a good cause, the less fortunate etc. as shown in this screen shot from Loyola below. (link here)
Here is why the scam works The key thing is that school Principals know that students want to express their individual identity by wearing clothes they choose and that few students will bother to seriously question what the money is for or whether or not they need to pay anything at all. Depending on the amount they charge and the size of the student population the school can scam students out of $2,000 a month per school.

Why it's all a big lie to get your money The Ministry of Education in Ontario is responsible for everything a school Board says or does and they say all fundraising in a school is "strictly voluntary" on the part of everyone and they put it in writing in a memo to all school Boards in Ontario. (link here)

Here is a direct quote from the memo: "Participation in fundraising activities is strictly voluntary. No individuals should feel compelled to participate in any fundraising activity, nor should they be subject to penalties, or be denied any benefits, if they choose not to participate".

How they get around the law by deceit, lying and shaming The school board actually makes its own rules (Procedure VI-59) regarding fundraising which states word for word fundraising is "strictly voluntary" just like the Ministry of Education memo says. The deceit comes at the school level when they intentionally lead students to believe that they are donating their money to a charity like "Culture of Life" mentioned in Loyola's letter above. They mention charities and "causes" numerous times so as to link the two in the minds of students. They never mention it is strictly voluntary and that you can wear civvies even if you don't pay as is clearly guaranteed by the "denied any benefits" clause in the Ministry fundraising guidelines memo and Board procedures mentioned above. Additionally your school activity fee covers charitable cause so why two asks? Public schools don't do this. The lie -  "Culture of Life" is not a registered charity (check here to see) . It's an anti-abortion, homophobic, anti women's rights cult "cause" few students would ever think of donating money to but since the school has linked charities and causes together students see them as the same thing. Most of the money collected for this fake charity will go to sending a half dozen "pro life" students to Ottawa every year to the "March for Life" run by the homophobic ultra right wing group The Campaign Life Coalition (link here) The shaming - if a student is brave enough to fight for their own rights to wear civvies without donating, as is the law, a school Principal if questioned, will be dismissive, claim the student or parent's understanding of the fundraising guidelines mentioned above is wrong without any logical or coherent argument. They typically say something illogical like the "benefit" of wearing civvies if you donate is not a "real benefit" so the rules above don't apply and then if that doesn't work they'll shame the student by using the "poor kids badge of shame" argument to attach a stigma to the student. The "poor kids" argument goes something like this - sure we allow all "poor kids" who can't afford a dollar to wear civvies without paying but you're not one of those are you? This plays on the student's self image. Most students would gladly pay anything rather than risk being labelled  as "poor" by other students in a rich community such as Halton where some kids drive BMW's to school.

To do list    1. Make certain you only donate if you want to. 2. If you don't donate feel free to wear civvies anyway and if you get in trouble for it threaten to yell as loud as you can on social media and the school Principal will back down immediately out of fear of having the scam uncovered in full public view. (Principals will generally shit themselves before allowing a negative story about their school to hit the news.) 3. If you do decide to donate make sure it is a real registered charity or at least a charitable cause you agree with not some homophobic anti women's group like the Culture of Life. 4. Make the Principal show you the cancelled cheque of where the fundraising money went. If they can't it means they just kept the money in an account to spend on whatever they want. 5. Share this post with other schools - helping others makes you feel good and helps change things for the better for everyone.

As always the HCDSB NEWS invites your corrections, comments and criticisms and any replies received from people or institutions mentioned will be published