Awkward situation

So I've been volunteering as a parent helper in Nadia's class. I don't want to post all of my reasons for doing that on a public blog, but if you're curious and want to have a long conversation ask me sometime. :)

But today, while I was there, the kids went to the "Holiday Shop". Now, I'm not a fan of holiday shops. Why in the heck are we having the kids spend money during school hours? I'll tell you why - Parent Teacher Association fundraising. But, my main reason for being against it is even though I hate it, I can't really feel good about sending my kids with no money. It would stink to be the only kid with nothing, the you have to stand there and watch all of the other kids buy things. It wouldn't be fun to be that kid.

So today, all the kids lined up with their money for the shop. One kid was crying. He had no money. He had to stand there and look at everything while all of the other kids were making their purchases. He was sobbing. I felt horrible for him. So, I snuck him a dollar and told him to find something he could buy with that.

Well, a few minutes later the teacher came over and made him give me back my dollar. She said came over to me frowning and shaking her head. She said, "We can't be giving him money. We don't know why his parents sent him with nothing. It could be he is being punished and we can't undermine that." She said she didn't know if he was being punished, but she wanted to assume that could be the reason, instead of maybe his parents didn't have the money or maybe they forgot. I was so taken aback!

Was I wrong to give the kid a dollar? I just found it really hard to see a kid sobbing becuase he was left out. What if he ws left out becuase his parents couldn't afford it? Or what if they just forgot. If I forgot to give my kid money for this and a parent gave my kid a dollar I would only feel grateful. I don't know. I feel pretty angry about what she did. I think it was just mean.

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    # by sojay - December 13, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    Oh no! I kind of think if a parent were punishing their kid in that manner, they would let the teacher know. That's a strange assumption on the teacher's part. I totally agree it's more likely the parents forgot or couldn't afford it. For any other reason, they'd say something so the kid wouldn't inadvertently get something. Poor kid. Dumb teacher. Protect Nadia.

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    # by maria - December 13, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    Liz, I read this a few days ago and I'm STILL upset about it. It's just terrible, and sounds like there was no good solution to it. I guess all you can do now is complain to the PTA and the school. Something like this should be completely voluntary, during non-school hours, where the parents can take their child if they so choose. It puts parents, teachers and students in an awkward position and is completely insensitive to those families who do not or cannot participate. Grr!

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    # by Doris - December 15, 2010 at 8:17 AM

    You were not wrong, the teacher was, you wonder what the motivation was, the whole thing makes me upset. I would write to the PTO with your story and your griviances, if we do not make our voices heard they will only hear those who do not have the best interest of the community at heart. Keep up the good work.

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    # by Tereks - December 22, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    That is just crazy. I am glad that our school does not do that Christmas shop because it does kind of put you in a bad situation to begin with, but I also think that it was kind of strange of the teacher to interfere in that way. It does not seem like it was necessary, expecially to make you feel bad for just trying to help. I feel bad for the poor kid. It seems like it would have been very humiliating for him to have to return the dollar. That would be something that would have mortified my at that age. Anyway, sorry you had to deal with that!