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I have a daughter in a public school in California in 1st grade. Her school is getting ready for a walkathon where each student is expected to bring in donations. This strikes me as inappropriate: the children do not have their own funds and therefore should not be solicited. All requests for donations in my view should go to parents. Are there any laws or regulations restricting public (or private for that matter) schools from soliciting donations from 7-year-olds?

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  • You say that the students are "expected to bring in donations." Is there any penalty/disadvantage to the student if this expectation is not met (i.e., if they do not bring in donations), or is it merely an optional request? – Ryan M Oct 7 '20 at 7:05
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    @RyanM There are no explicit expectation, just as there are no such expectations when donations are solicited from parents. Nor am I aware of any stated repercussions of student falling short or opting out, nor parents. But with kids, the sums they are able to "raise" from their parents vary and and kids cannot be expected to be discreet, so everyone ends up knowing how much other kids raise. I find this crass. I also cannot deduct a donation without a record and kids money tend to be cash. – Igor Urisman Oct 7 '20 at 14:15
  • Are you sure this isn't a case where the child is being asked to go out (usually with the supervision of their parents) and solicit donations from other adults, based on the performance of the child in the walkathon? It just feels like you're viewing this program from the wrong perspective. – Kommissar Oct 7 '20 at 19:29
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It is not prohibited in California under EDC §49011, though your local board could make it prohibited. In-person solicitation of goods or money during school hours is prohibited in NY state, under Regents Rule 19.6, but recruiting children during school hours is allowed.

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    Thank you, user6726 and @ohwilleke. – Igor Urisman Oct 7 '20 at 19:55
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Are there any laws or regulations restricting public (or private for that matter) schools from soliciting donations from 7-year-olds?

No. Some particular schools might have informal policies on the subject but the conduct you describe is common and not illegal.

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