December 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm
A new law in Alabama forbids public officials and employees from receiving gifts of more than “de minimis value,” according to a recent article on the Huffington Post. Though the law, which came into effect earlier this year, doesn’t state an exact amount as the limit, teachers have been cautioned against accepting holiday gift cards or hams. Things like homemade sweets or a mug are permitted.
It’s no secret that most families are struggling financially, so perhaps the law is a helpful way to help parents save money while saving face. If one child offers homemade brownies and another gives a gift certificate for a massage at the Ritz Carlton, it could potentially lead to an unfair advantage in the classroom. After all, the law passed following a scandal involving corrupt politicians who were influenced by lobbyists. Then again, that relationship is very different from the bond between a teacher and a student. It’s possible that lawmakers have taken the idea a bit far.
What do you think? Should there be a price limit on teacher gifts from students? Does the law help to level the playing field and keep everyone honest, or is it a Grinch-like reaction to a harmless bit of holiday cheer?
–Carly Okyle, FamilyCircle.com intern