A new twist on differential pay

Terence Braxton is in trouble. The Escambia County, Florida, middle school gym teacher is accused of taking bribes from his students. Before his syndicate was shut down, individual youngsters could buy their way out of class activities by paying Braxton a dollar a day. Official charges accuse Braxton of taking about $230 from six students, but authorities believe perhaps 250 students had, at one time or another, paid the dollar fee. If six kids coughed up $230, Braxton's take from 250 middle schoolers would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $9500. But in Gadfly's view, Braxton is being falsely accused of a "crime" he didn't commit. If anything, the gym teacher should be applauded for providing his students a valuable lesson in American government-and in life. Money buys influence, and in the real world, when successful people don't want to do something (sit-ups, run the mile, pay taxes on their Indian casino profits) they pay to get out of it. The sooner these youngsters understand that, the better, and Braxton ought to be commended for providing the instruction.

"Get out of gym for a buck?,"by Melissa Nelson, Associated Press, February 19, 2006

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