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School equality isn't so equalPosted Monday, November 26, 2007, at 1:33 PM
A state statute says schools must waive fees for low-income students to participate in school-day fundraising celebrations, according to the Associated Press.
This was made clear after, according to AP, "a parent of a student at Mufreesboro's Central Middle School complained about paying a $25 fee for the Tiger Prowl fundraising celebration even though his son qualifies for a reduced-price meal. Students who didn't pay stayed inside instead of attending the outdoor games."
Am I reading this right? Students who sold products had to pay AGAIN to celebrate raising the funds?
Fund-raising "reward celebrations" could easily be seen as a form of social discrimination between the haves and have-nots.
Not every child's fortunate enough to have glib, popular parents who can go out and sell hundeds of dollars of items for their kids -- or fortunate enough to have a county full of relatives with open wallets.
Children will learn soon enough that not everyone's going to be equal. Don't ostracize them by leaving them out of activities. They aren't adults yet.
On a related note, "school uniforms" aren't going to make everyone equal, in spite of what Bedford County school officials may think.
I'm not sure if uniform dress codes are worth the effort locally. In spite of what's been said in meetngs, I'm still not sure exactly what results are wanted or the motives behind proposed changes.
It was voiced in the T-G newsroom that some students will still be dressed more neatly than others just based on age of, and care for, those clothes. Some kids will still be wearing worn, dirty or wrinkled clothes.
And, by the time they get to high school, children who work and/or have wealthy parents will be driving nicer cars than some of their classmates. Some of those parents will make sure of that.
It'll be interesting to see what happens in the next few months, but if school officials think class differences are going to be eliminated, it won't happen.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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