Elementary School Bans Poor Kids From Attending Carnival With Their Classmates


An elementary school carnival in Queens, New York is catching heat for banning poor kids from the fun: Over 100 students at PS 120 whose parents didn't pony up the required $10 admission were shuttled into a dark auditorium to watch an old movie, within earshot of the festivities outside. Ouch! 


Understandably, the kids who couldn't participate in the fun were upset. One kid asked, "Are we being punished?", while another concluded, "My mom doesn’t care about me."

What's more, some of the teachers also felt this "pay to play" school event was inappropriate.

"If you are doing a carnival during school hours, it should be free," one teacher said.

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And I have to agree! I mean, I get how school events must be paid for somehow. But the school should have figured out an arrangement where all kids were allowed to go, especially since this was held during school hours.

My reason? "Pay to play" school events instantly separate kids into the haves and have-nots. And that's bound to make the have-nots feel awful, and envious. And that's hardly a way to build camaraderie among classmates, is it?

The the whole point of public school is to even the playing field -- not just academically, but socially. And while it's easy to think "What's the big deal? It's just ten bucks," to certain families who are barely scraping by that's too much. I think schools should try to be sensitive to this fact, and put an end to "pay to play" events. Events during school hours should be open to all kids, or none at all.

How do you feel about pay-to-play school events?


Image via candysoul/shutterstock

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