Nampa High School fundraiser raises questions
Organizers say it started out as an innocent fundraiser, but kids and parents contacting On Your Side don't agree. They say it's an opportunity for bullying. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Organizers say it started out as an innocent fundraiser, but kids and parents contacting On Your Side don't agree. They say it's an opportunity for bullying.
"People are going around in all the classes saying, 'Oh. I'm fighting you. We're gonna fight on fight night.’ And the teachers just sit there and they don't do nothing," says Nampa High School student Jazzy.
She says her bully began taunting her to fight when the school announced the Bulldog Brawl, a fundraiser for Nampa High School football. But, football coach Jon Choate says he personally chose each fighter to avoid that kind of trouble...
"We really wanted to stay away from pitting kids from one school against another, wanted to stay away from kids who had any animosity toward each other. It's supposed to be good family fun," he says.
Choate says the students who signed up to fight were vetted, and parents had to sign a permission slip.
"I was pretty excited because stuff like that, it interests me. I'm a big fan of boxing and MMA and stuff like that, ya know, and that kind of stuff. It's fun to me,” says student fighter Brandon Ashley. “It's just fun to throw a couple blows with your buddy and have some fun."
Choate says the kids will wear head gear, and use over-sized gloves, organizers will ensure the students are evenly matched and there will be medical personnel on scene.
He says he needs this event to raise money for his football team, without having to ask parents for that money in a district already strapped for cash.
"Our athletic budgets have been cut from 45 thousand to 12 thousand dollars in the last five years, and we've struggled to raise money in our program as well,” says Choate. “We have a need for some new uniforms."
Still, Jazzy's stepfather says the event does encourage bullying, so there have to be better ways.
"The fact that a child or a student has to take a blow to the head to receive benefits or monies for a jersey or books or whatever, it doesn't seem morally ethically correct,” he says.