Kids banned from school carnival for not paying

The above link goes to a NYPOST story about a school in Queens and controversy revolving around a school carnival.   Students were told to bring $10 dollars or if they didn’t then they wouldn’t be allowed to participate.  Those who didn’t participate sat in the auditorium while the sounds of fun drifted in from outside.  

The principal insists that it’s only fair if students who did not pay did not participate.  She ignored the children socio-emotional needs by seperating them from others.  Over $10.  The school made a profit of maybe of 2-3 thousand dollars.  Sure, the profit margin would be cut.  And it could be asked if the families of the non-participants really didn’t have the money.  But these are still very young children.  As one girl asked “am I being punished.” Doesn’t it feel like she is  kind of possibly being punished for something that should have been open to every student?

What’s more heartbreaking is the student that says “my parent doesn’t love me.”  Because instead of school being a place of respite, a place where it feels as if someone cares for you, it now potentially carries that same feeling as home does for them.  Younger students internalize so much-and this situation could be so damaging. Add to that feeling the image of toy stuffed animals that others kids who went brought back.  Free gifts because they went.

I don’t understand why the school budget doesn’t actually allow for the moving up and graduation ceremonies , but would the school disallow anyone to come if they couldn’t pay if thete was a fee there?  This ceremony should have been after hours, not during the school day when it became clear that a large body of kids would be excluded.  

This principal’s policy seems harmful if not petty.  I had a personal story I wanted to use but I’ll save it for another time. This just feels wrong.