Gold-studded apples for the teacher

This holiday season, P.C. comes to holiday gifting. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, school administrators around the country are cracking down on gift-giving from students and parents to teachers. Some think such gifts "create an inherent conflict of interest and temptation to compromise integrity that we really don't want to be part of." Others worry that teachers who don't receive gifts, and students who can't afford to give them, will feel left out. But not everyone's playing Scrooge. In the presumably lavish-gift-getting Beverly Hills Unified School District, the superintendent says she wants "staff and teachers to feel that students and their families can show gratitude." Some curmudgeonly districts, however, have taken gratitude out of the equation by setting up a Teacher's Holiday Fund to which parents contribute and from which teachers receive equal payouts. A less sincere and festive holiday gesture the Gadfly cannot imagine. School administrators, if your conscience is keeping you up at night, consider following L.A.'s quite reasonable policy: cap the gifts at $100 and let the kids spread some joy. (P.S. Gadfly has no policy prohibiting lavish gifts from readers.)

"A Pandora's box for teachers," by Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times, December 19, 2006

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