Community Service w/ a Hidden Agenda

..During my interview the director/owner proudly emphasized the broad scope of Community Service activities in which his school was involved. He wore his comments like a badge of honor & wanted to know, “Was I on board with the program?”  I was in!

..As the school year progressed it became painfully obvious that he had little interest in helping the community. Instead, he abused & exploited the Community Service program, using it as a means to get free publicity. This was evidenced by the fact he regularly showed up to Community Service events & took credit for what the students/teachers were doing, all the while selling his “great” school to the local press covering the event.

..As teachers, we raised all the funds needed for our Community Service projects. We also kept records on an on-line calendar as well as on a huge paper calendar located in the front office in plain view of anyone coming through the door (good PR). I’m convinced the director’s secretary was the one calling the press & maybe even bribing them to cover our events. Example: 10/2 @ 3:30 pm, “Mr D’s group to Valley View Orphanage with toys.

..I could have lived with this situation, but then something happened. In September, the entire faculty worked endlessly to organize an all-school fundraiser. There was music & food (supplied by parents),  activity booths for kids (created, financed & managed by teachers), raffle tickets & a silent auction (of  items donated by parents). We raised many, many thousands of dollars.

..Did any of that money go to fund our Community Service organizations, the orphanage, the old age home, animal rescue, etc.?  NO! Every cent went to new uniforms for the soccer team, replanting the field, sprucing up the bleaches & constructing two concession stands. This was not what we had been told during the planning stages. The director was “sorry we misunderstood.” So, what’s next — new office furniture?

..Needless to say I feel quite conflicted. I want to help the community & introduce my students to the concept of giving back. I feel good about doing so. But at the same time the school owner has an ulterior motive & it’s not based on giving — it’s based on teachers & students “volunteering” their time/energy so the owner can advance the financial worth of his “school.”  This last stunt with all the money going to the soccer field was the final blow for me. I now see this director as a slimy trickster.

..Question is, now what? I feel like I’m being abused & there are months & months left in the school year, not to mention the 2nd year of my contract? Anyone dealt with this situation before? I’m so disgusted I’m tempted to leave!

6 Responses to Community Service w/ a Hidden Agenda

  1. Omtulmet says:

    I worked for a Shanghai school that is explicitly listed as not for profit Christian vales based foundation.

    But behind the scenes the director’s husband has set up a web of shelf companies that supply the school at greatly inflated prices or the school is being used as a cash cow to subsidise her ever growing empire. That’s why the school is ‘non-profit’.

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  2. kaduzy says:

    Post a review of the place and the director to warn others of his duplicity. Anonymously alert the media to the school’s fraud and make sure someone from the TV station or newspaper comes back to investigate what happened to that money. If your director is as pompous as you’re painting him, I promise you that local media figures would be itching for dirt on the guy to take him down. People like that always wind up having enemies they themselves are probably blissfully unaware of. Just be sure you provide proof to the media that the money was advertised as being for charity and that not a cent of it went to charity at all. Make sure the delivery of the information can never be traced to you. Then sit back and let the scandal erupt. The director might even wind up fired.

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  3. John says:

    So many schools pretending to be ‘community’ minded but the owners and directors are in it for themselves. I’d look for a new job.

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  4. James Wisler says:

    I doubt I would quit, but I would make sure to have a written agreement for the next time that XXX percentage of monies raised/items donated were going to the orphanage/charity, and that it wasn’t the goal of all the teachers to put in all that time and effort for something that could have been accomplished by alumni/sports boosters club…at the very least, if you’re going to term something a charity event, the charity/recipient shouldn’t be an international school where students are presumably paying extremely high tuition already, which should help to subsidize facilities costs and maintenance.

    I’d probably ask the director how he would respond if that same tv station/reporter came back out and did a follow-up interview about the charity recipients and how they were enjoying the gifts/donations that were generated by the school?

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  5. omgarsenal says:

    Let the parents and the community know what BS this director is guilty of….bad publicity will drive any cockroaches like him into a hole. You can do this subversively without him every finding out, just cover your ass in case he suspects.

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  6. Stay Overseas says:

    I would leave at Christmas. Be sure you post a review of this place.

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