Wyandotte school superintendent Carla Harting said a recent TV news report regarding Roosevelt High School students being forbidden from raising money at school to help the family of another student is false.
Friends of 15-year-old Kerrigan Brandon told WJBK-TV Fox 2 that they were barred from selling wristbands and T-shirts at Roosevelt because school leaders said the attention could glorify drug use.
Kerrigan had been hospitalized in a coma at Mott's Children Hospital in Ann Arbor since overdosing on a cocktail of prescription drugs on Jan. 12. The teen died Wednesday.
While the students said their fundraising efforts were shot down, Harting said that's not the case.
"They were told they had to follow the policy, but were never told they could not fundraise," Harting said. "When you sell things within the school, we were just asking that they follow proper fundraising procedures. If you want to do a fundraiser, you can't just sell items within the school without there being an accounting for them."
Per district policy, students are allowed to fundraise once they've gotten a staff member to coordinate the event and to ensure the money raised is routed to the proper channel, Harting said.
Once that was done, the wristbands and T-shirt sales for Kerrigan were allowed to proceed, she said, adding that lunchtime sales have been ongoing since Monday.
"It’s a very sad situation when any parent is facing a situation like this and our thoughts and prayers are with the family," Harting said.
Here's the full written statement released by the district:
Recent news reports have made comments regarding the fundraising practices of Wyandotte Public Schools. As is district policy, we allow students to fundraise with approval. Fundraisers are conducted under the supervision of a school organization or staff member to establish proper usage/disbursement of all fundraising monies. In the case commented on in the recent news reports, a staff member had already agreed to supervise the requested fundraising activity. As is school practice, any money raised is placed in an account for future dispersal. Wyandotte Public Schools and Roosevelt High School have a generous and caring student body and staff. There is a strong tradition of assisting many families in need and supporting various causes.