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State Pushes Parents Not to Give Teachers Holiday Gifts

State Pushes Parents Not to Give Teachers Holiday Gifts

The holidays are less than a week away, and parents across the country will be checking off the people on their shopping lists, including teachers. However, some districts have made giving presents to public school educators a risky proposition.

Gifts for teachers, "aren't always in line with school district policies," according to an article on OregonLive.com. The Oregon School Boards Association, the article pointed, "advises against the practice."

Alex Pulaski, an association spokeswoman, said that the district "knows of about 70 school districts, out of 197 statewide, that have adopted the 'gift language,'" according to the article.

"The Tigard-Tualatin School District takes the issue directly to students, writing in its 'Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook' that while students have the right 'to express their appreciation and gratitude to staff,' they have the responsibility 'to express that gratitude in the form of verbal or written appreciation rather than in the form of gifts,'" the article said.

Susan Stark Haydon, Tigard-Tualatin spokeswoman, said "the policy has been in place 'for a long time,'" the article said.

"For sure we want to encourage notes and those kinds of recognition, of appreciation for a teacher," she said. But "elaborate gifts are totally discouraged."

Stark Haydon said state ethics rules was one of the reasons for the policy in the article.

"A sense of equity is another reason," she said. "Not every family can afford to give nice gifts and so we want to just have a level playing field for all kids, so that kids don't feel bad because they're not bringing something to school for their teacher even though they appreciate their teacher just as much as somebody else appreciates their teacher. We also think it makes teachers feel uncomfortable. It's sometimes overwhelming if you get a big gift."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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