Quincy High School’s administration says they aren’t changing anything about their "flocking" fund-raiser, despite the well-publicized complaint from a nearby resident.
The campaign, which has been taking place for the past three years, “flocks” a resident's yard with a half-dozen plastic flamingoes and a sign saying "You've been flocked" for 24 hours.
The idea is to have the flocking recipient “flock it forward,” paying $20 for students to put the flamingoes on someone else’s lawn.
The money goes toward Senior Night Out, an after-prom party for seniors aimed at keeping the students in a drug- and alcohol-free environment. There are currently eight flocks going around the city.
This year, however, the flocking sparking controversy when a Merrymount resident said that putting plastic flamingoes on her lawn constituted vandalism.
Carol Abbott, a Shore Avenue resident, told Channel 7 news: “These children are being encouraged by adults in the school administration and parent advisory council to trespass and vandalize."
Abbott could not be reached to comment for this article.
Quincy High School Principal Frank Santoro said it was the first time he had heard of any objection. Usually, when a resident doesn’t want the flamingoes on their lawn for the full 24 hours, he or she calls the number on the sign posted with the flamingos, and someone comes to remove them.
Even minor complaints aren’t all that common, Santoro said.
“People have actually called and we have a waiting list of people who want to be flocked,” he said. “I feel bad for the lady. She shouldn’t be upset by this. A simple call would have taken them off the lawn. She chose to use other avenues.”
Since this is an important source of funds for the $12,000 Senior Night, Santoro hopes that others will continue to jump on the flocking bandwagon rather than rebuff their tactics.
“We’re hoping that people will still join in on the campaign in trying to keep the 700 students safe after the prom, and hopefully we can continue to do that as it's our major source of funding for the after-prom party,” Santoro said. “If we can’t do that, we’ll have to seek another way to raise funds.”
Typically “flocking” raises $4,000 to $6,000 a year. There are still a few weeks left in this flocking season, Santoro said, so hopefully the money will come in on target again this year.
As for the alleged vandalism to Abbott’s property, Santoro said that was unlikely.
“We didn’t do any damage,” he said.
Quincy police have said that the students did not break any laws and committed no crimes during their flocking adventures.
Molly Mullan, head of the Parent Advisory Council, which is in charge of the flocking, could not be reached for comment.