I don’t know why my head didn’t blow up with this one. Maybe I’m building up resistance. (Is that good or bad?)
PS 120 in Flushing, Queens, held a carnival for its students last week during school hours, with nearly 900 kids, pre-K to fifth-grade, taking turns in 45 minutes shifts. There were inflatable slides, a space-bounce, rides,popcorn, ices, music and more. It also cost parents $10, and if they didn’t pay, their kids were forced to sit in the auditorium and listen to their richer classmates having fun.
Now the carnival operator is offering to hold a repeat for the excluded children. “If I had known that there were kids not allowed to attend the carnival, I would have paid for them,” he now says. That’s nice (and smart PR), but the damage is done.
All the teachers, administrators, the PTA and the principal involved in planning this event, and not one had the functioning ethics alarm to say, “WHAT? We can’t exclude kids who can’t pay. That’s unfair and cruel.” Wow.
Find another way to fund the event. Find a sponsor. Tell the parents who can pay that they will also be paying for poorer families that cannot. Cancel the event, but whatever you do, you can’t punish kids because their parents can’t or won’t pay ten dollars.
Oh—the school made a nice profit on the carnival!
People this incompetent and lacking in compassion and common sense shouldn’t be allowed alone with children, much trusted to teach them.