Cry Baby of the Day

Cry Bay of the Day: Tony Hunt and daughter Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt

Photo / Sarah Ivey NZ Herald

Photo / Sarah Ivey NZ Herald

The incident: Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt attends Avondale College and has bought a ticket to the school ball. The school however has said that she can’t go because her father hasn’t paid the school fees of $175. The NZ Herald deems this to be a front page story far more important that feeding poor children in school. The school has had this policy in place for many years.

The appropriate response: Pay the school fees, the school is subsidising the ball from fees collected for extra-curricular activities. Failing to pay the fee just means that Tony Hunt wants his daughter’s attendence to be subsidised by all the other parents who have paid their fees. If Tony Hunt pays the school fees Jazcinta can go to the ball.

The actual response: Tony Hunt and daughter Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt run off to the media, cry a river of tears and manage to convince the “decent journalists, trained and skilled” at the NZ Herald that this is an issue of major importance for New Zealand’s largest paper to run on the front page.

Complete with a sad looking photo thy tell their story to the world about the mean old school.

One of New Zealand’s largest schools has banned from its ball any students whose parents don’t pay annual school fees – a move one father says verges on extortion.

Avondale College says if the donation is not paid, students cannot attend the school ball on June 15 as it is an “extra-curricular activity” and ticket prices do not cover the cost.

Most schools ask for donations, and tens of millions are paid by parents each year. But schools cannot legally force parents to pay.

Tony Hunt, whose daughter Jazcinta Calderon-Hunt is in Year 13 at Avondale College, bought a $110 ball ticket for her, but does not want to pay the $175 donation.

“Every dollar counts. But more to the point is that they advertise it as a donation. Therefore, it is voluntary. And the school ball is an important event for the kids.

“There are a lot of parents who feel obligated to pay the fee, even though they may be struggling.”

Avondale College board of trustees chairman Kevin Glubb said the long-standing position on ball attendance was made because ticket sales did not cover the cost of the event.

School donations were voluntary, but because they heavily subsidised the school ball – an extra-curricular activity – only those who paid were allowed to attend.

“It has been a historical approach – it predates my time on the board, and I don’t think any student at the school is unaware of it.”

Well, except for these two free-loaders. Perhaps he could pawn that expensive gold necklace he is wearing?

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.