Sometimes you can overthink things. Like, for example, the annual tradition of parents giving presents to their children’s grade school teachers around the holidays.
The practice got a bit of notice from the administration and board of education in Riverside School District 96 recently with regard to a state law (and district policy) prohibiting gifts of more than $100 annually from a “prohibited source,” which apparently includes parents.
There was a bit of hand-wringing, which was a surprise because we weren’t aware that there was an actual problem to solve.
The specific issue in D96, as we understand it, is that school PTAs have in the past collected “class” gifts that top the $100 figure in aggregate. Individual parents chip in say $10 or $15.
To us, that doesn’t violate the district’s policy. The intent of the policy is clear — school districts and state agencies don’t want anyone bribing anyone by handing them a wad of cash or plane tickets to Tahiti.
But the practice of pooling small donations doesn’t do that, and we can’t believe there are any families handing teachers holiday gifts of more than $100 — and if there are, can you please stop doing that?
See, it’s pretty easy. Happy holidays.