Should teachers not be allowed to receive gifts from students?

In “The Message is Unclear,” Deena Pilgrim says that teachers should not receive any gift from students because many parents may feel pressure to give a better gift. The reason is that gifts may make some teachers to treat their students in different ways that are commensurate to the value of their gifts. According to Pilgrim, there are some teachers in Alabama who often receive expensive gifts from their students, but they cannot enjoy such privileges anymore because of the new law in Alabama that forbid it. Pilgrim suggests that California should also pass this law. Indeed, teachers should not be allowed to receive gifts from students as this promote discrimination in treatment of  students and put unnecessary pressure on  parents to squeeze their budget and buy presentable gifts.

If teachers are forbidden by law from receiving gifts, they will treat all students equal and promote fairness. Allowing teachers to receive gifts from students will promote inequality in treatment in class. Such unfairness may arise where teachers give better grades to students who gave expensive gifts. When I was in Elementary School at Gwang-ju in South Korea, there was a female teacher who charged the class that I belonged. Most parents who had a child or children in that class always had to   give some kind of present to her because only a few students whose parents gave expensive gifts received higher grades. The students whose parents didn’t give any gifts could not get a higher grade than the other students that complied.

A law that prohibit taking of gifts from students is in order. It will help reduce the extra financial burden and emotional pressure on parents to buy expensive gifts for teachers. According to the article, many parents may participate in gift-giving competition when they see others give better gifts to the teacher. The parents ultimately make efforts to buy gifts to the teacher at the expense of other financial needs. The result is psychological problems associated with expanded financial demands. When I was in Elementary School student in South Korea, my parents used to give expensive presents to my class teacher because she treated her students very unfairly if they didn’t meet her demand. In fact, if my parents failed to buy her gifts, she would not give me a better grade. My parents told me that they didn’t want to give any gifts to her but they had to comply for the sake of my grade. They also told me that the gifts placed pressure on them as the teacher preferred expensive ones that ate into the finances.

In conclusion, the teachers should not be allowed to take gifts from students. The overriding fact is that gifts promote unfairness in the way teachers treat students. The value of the gift determines the level of attention and the grade a student can attain from the teacher. To avoid this problem, the government auditors need to make monthly visits and investigate teachers. The teachers need to reject any kind of gift from student so that there are clear relationship boundaries between the teacher and the learner.

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