PTA Sparks Debate on Teacher Gift-Giving

FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA) — A well-meaning PTA at the Tuscarora Elementary School has sparked a debate about teacher gift giving after sending a Christmas list for teachers home with kids.

“That’s just bad manners,” says author and etiquette expert Cynthia Lett, who consults for corporations and embassies.

Lett says giving modest gifts to teachers is fine, but sending a wish list with children leaves the impression a gift is expected. Handmade items from children are often more appropriate, according to Lett.

The Tuscarora PTA sent the list home with children after asking teachers what they might like for Christmas. Some teachers suggested school supplies, while others suggested gift cards, spa treatments and silver jewelery.

Frederick County (Maryland)  School officials say there is no violation of rules against soliciting gifts because the PTA created the list, not the teachers.

“Teachers are not asking for gifts, and none are expected,” says Marita Loose, a spokesperson for Frederick County Schools.

“This is a story that has snowballed way out of proportion,” Loose told 9News Now. “It has ‘bah humbug’, and the Grinch and Scrooge written all over it.”

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