Area businesses report bogus solicitations on behalf of Kingston Public Schools.
KINGSTON — Kingston Public Schools have become the target of companies who are falsely representing themselves as working on behalf of the school district, in order to make a profit.
Superintendent Jay McAdams was clearly angry as he reported that no fewer than five area businesses that have always been supportive of school have reported that they had been contacted by a company (or companies) claiming to represent the school district on a fund raiser. In a statement released Aug. 28, he said that's not how it works.
"This company doesn't represent Kingston Public Schools," he said. "We would not allow an outside company to solicit advertising for us. If you do not know the person who is asking for your donation or advertising personally, please contact us and check it out."
McAdams said all fund raisers are approved by administrators and the board of education, and personnel in the campus offices will be aware of their existence.
"We know who's representing us and who isn't, so all we're asking is just check with us first," the superintendent said.
The superintendent said the tactic takes unfair advantage of the loyalty and generosity of area businesses that have supported the school for many years.
Administrators were understandably vague about the name of the company or companies misrepresenting school endorsements, but they said banners, cups and other memorabilia were among products offered.
Assistant Superintendent Ron Whipkey said the school has used at least one of the companies in the past, but hasn't entered into any perpetual agreement.
"I think they're taking some liberties," Whipkey said. "Yes, we have entered into contracts with them in the past, but that was a one-time deal. Now, they're calling customers and saying, 'We're doing this banner for the football game,' when we didn't authorize that. We approve or re-approve contracts once a year."
The crux of the message from KPS officials is simply: Don't be duped — check with us first.