school districts place limits on Christmas gifts to teachers

Is Santa being too good to some teachers?
Expensive gifts and ‘wish lists’ raise the question for some schools

— Houston Chronicle2


So when Sides, who never drank coffee, began raising kids of her own, she decided the annual teacher gift-giving routine needed an upgrade. Her wish list survey, handed out to her sons’ teachers at River Oaks Elementary each school year, quizzes them on everything from hobbies to favorite restaurants. Parents get copies of the answers and, come holiday time, go to work.

Such surveys — akin to bridal registries — are popping up in many elementary schools, both public and private. Parents in the Fort Bend school district say they’ve used them. And Annette Bieda, kindergarten teacher at Frost Elementary in the Lamar Consolidated School District,  said her campus keeps a book of gift-idea surveys on file for parents.


But the trend, while an aid to parents, plays a role in what some see as an extravagant turn in the holiday gift tradition. In the area’s more affluent public schools, parents have handed out everything from spa gift certificates to gold rings, teachers say. The change is nice for those who have worked for years in the classroom but has some administrators squirming.

In Katy, a handful of elementary schools now have gift guidelines, including limits on who can collect money for presents and recommendations that contributions be kept to a “reasonable amount.”

And earlier this month, the Fort Bend school district warned all employees against accepting anything worth more then $50.


2 = article may expire in a few weeks

Author: Paloma Cruz

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