In Palm Beach County, Florida, an elementary school was recently considering returning a $20,000 donation made by an individual. Why on earth when schools budgets are so short would a school -- a public school -- ever consider passing on such a sum of money? In this case, it was because the money was donated by a strip club owner.
If it was drug money, or money otherwise illegally obtained, that would be one thing. But like 'em or not, strip clubs are legal in this country. And if all those dollar bills placed in g-strings can help educate children, why not? It's not like the guy was asking for the school to be named after him or to have stripper poles installed in classrooms.
Instead it sounds like Joe Rodriguez is quite the benevolent man. According to the Miami Herald, he has a long history of making charitable donations and has donated tens of thousands of dollars to help children over the years. He has formed a foundation, Rodriguez Charities, in which he has raised more than $500,000 through car washes, poker games, and the like. And yes, there are some scantily clad women at the events.
But money is money, right? If little Tommy needs a math book, and this guy is going to provide, then wash away. There are certainly worse uses for the money, and this school was apparently in dire need. I would actually be irate if my child's school turned the money down.
Some, however, disagree.
"It came from someone associated with the exploitation of women -- and that demeans half the population," Anthony Verdugo, executive director of the Christian Family Coalition, told the Miami Herald. "If you do that, where do you draw the line? That's not the message to send to kids -- that it's OK to exploit women."
In the end, the school kept the money after a vote.
“I never knew what Mr. Rodriguez does for a living, but when you run a school as poor as this one and you get a donation, that’s not the kind of question you ask. You’re just grateful for what you get,” said Dr. Glenda Garrett, the principal.
I say good for them.
Would you want your child's school to accept a donation from a strip club owner?
Image via the_toe_stubber/Flickr