So in our school mailboxes today, we received a very thick packet from some lawyers delineating what can and cannot be accepted by teachers during the holiday season and throughout the year. It's really amazing that someone has spent so much time on this. Here are some examples, in case you were planning to buy something lavish for me at this time of the year.
-a teacher cannot accept a gift that he/she knows is valued over $50 unless it is from several students who chipped in. Then , the teacher cannot accept anything else from those students who chipped in, because together, they have spent $50.
-if a teacher is given tickets to a show that were worth $40 but then they become scarce and are valued at $500, the teacher would then have been given a $460 gift even though the parents only paid $40 the day they bought them.
-if there is no admission charge to an event, but the presumed cost of food and drink for the attendees is $90 per person, that was a gift over $50.
Really????? So, now if I happen to get the random gift or two from kids, I have to give them the 3rd degree. Who bought this? How many people helped cover the cost? What was the actual value the day you bought it? What will the value be the day I redeem it? Have you given me any other gift during this school year?
And my favorite one is the one about the free admission but the presumed cost. So now when I am invited to any sort of event, I must ask what the presumed cost per person was so that I know I'm not breaking the law.
So this is what's wrong with education today? Are all teachers so busy with their fancy gifts that they've stopped teaching? Who polices these kinds of things? So, teachers are not allowed to redeem gift cards and tickets they were given because at the time they redeem them they might be worth a whole lot more? Are you kidding me???? Are there really teachers sitting on death row because they accepted tickets to a Broadway show and dinner afterwards?
Since this was made such a big deal in our district last year and again today, my fear is that mock presents are going to be given to teachers to "test" us to see if we really accept a gift that is over $50. This, in a district where over 50% of our kids are on free or reduced lunch. Yep, I see my Lamborghini waiting with my name on the license plate.
And really, where are all of these rich parents who are giving gifts over $50 to the same teacher? Seriously? Send them my way. They use examples of spa services and fancy dinners and plays. Umm, I could use some. I won't even tell anyone, I promise.
I'm lucky if I get a gift from one child worth 50 cents at Christmas.