We’re no longer just experiencing a war on the poor, but rather a sociopathic campaign of outright humiliation. It’s like Republicans are James Spader’s character from Pretty in Pink (Google, it Millennials) and low-income Americans are Molly Ringwald’s character. Across the country, we have seen continuous efforts by the GOP to institute polices that shame people on food stamps.
Since the GOP is always talking about trickle-down, it looks like their complete and utter lack of empathy has trickled down to schools.
A Pre-School in Queens, NY recently held a carnival for its students; only kids whose parents couldn’t pony up the $10 were forced to sit in the auditorium while their classmates had a freaking blast. Roughly 900 kids attended the Queens carnival, with pre-K to fifth-grade classes each spending 45 minutes outside. The kids were elated on inflatable slides, a bouncing room, and a twirly teacup ride. They also consumed popcorn and flavored ices and listened to tunes.
But not every kid got to get high on sugar and bounce until they vomited.
It seems the mandatory pay rule left out many of the poorest kids at the elementary, where most parents are Chinese immigrant families crammed into apartments and “struggling to keep their heads above water,” according to staffers.
Via the New York Post:
“It’s breaking my heart that there are kids inside,” one teacher said.
The teacher hugged a 7-year-old girl who was “crying hysterically.”
“She was the only one from her class who couldn’t go, so she was very upset,” the teacher said.
The girl told others, “My mom doesn’t care about me.” But the teacher said parents possibly did not see or understand the flier that went home or didn’t have $10 to spare.
“Are we being punished?” one child asked an aide in the auditorium as kids sat there with no movie playing, a staffer said.
Another teacher was really grossed by the inequality:
“If you are doing a carnival during school hours, it should be free,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s one kid or 200 sitting in the auditorium. They all should have been out there.” (New York Post)
Agreed. But one has to wonder why none of the teachers simply couldn’t kick in the money themselves for the kids. According to Frank Chow, the president of the parents association that sponsored the carnival, “the school principal insisted that kids whose parents didn’t pay could not partake.”
“She was saying it’s not fair to the parents who paid. You can’t argue much, I guess. The school is under her. I wish we just charged parents the cost, not to make extra,” Chow said (New York Post)
All told, the carnival ran about $6,200, including fees to a carnival company, “Send In the Clowns,” and actually netted a $2,000 to $3,000 profit, according to Chow
It used to be that you were excluded from field trips and fun-filled school activities for bad behavior, but apparently now bad behavior includes being poor.
Featured image via BiteMagazine