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Do Teachers Take Holiday Bribes?

NYC Educator's Miss Eyre is up in arms about a recent question on Slate's Dear Prudence. A concerned parent wrote in that she could not afford to buy holiday gifts for her child's teachers. What should she do? Will her child pay the price if she doesn't adhere to the gift-giving tradition?

Miss Eyre proclaims that the consequence of not buying a teacher present will be ... "NOTHING."

How does this stuff get started, that teachers treat kids who don't give them gifts differently? Are we really the guilty ones on this? Do you have colleagues whose lives are so empty and devoid of meaning that they need a Whitman's Sampler from a twelve-year-old's parents to make them feel better, and if they don't receive it, they will take their deep-seated personal issues out on the unfortunate preteen(s) involved?
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