A father, we’ll call him John, recently shared his story of refusing to send money to the class for his child’s pizza party and the teacher’s reaction to the refusal. This is not about John being stingy with money.
A Sad Situation
John explained that his child’s class was having a pizza party, and the teacher had been requesting $5 from the parents for the last week to help pay for it. John’s daughter suffers from disordered eating due to mental health issues and is currently in therapy. She doesn’t like pizza but will eat breadsticks sometimes, but only a specific kind from a particular restaurant.
Teacher Doesn’t Seem to Care
The teacher is not ordering from that restaurant, and John said he would not have asked the teacher to have them make it the exact way his daughter likes it. John added that his daughter is lactose intolerant and couldn’t eat the pizza anyway. In an email, John explained this to the teacher, saying he would not contribute to the pizza fund because his child would not eat it.
Dad Makes Lunch
He also made sure to pack his daughter a lunch for that day. The teacher replied that contributing $5 wasn’t an option, but she didn’t have to if his daughter didn’t want to eat the pizza. John is firm that he won’t contribute money to something his daughter won’t participate in.
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Who is Right in This Situation?
The commenters were definitely on John’s side in this scenario. One mother suggested that John talk to the school and ask why donating money to a special event wasn’t optional. “You never know what other parents are being bullied into paying this money as well,” she added.
Another chimed in and pointed out that other parents might be intimidated into paying, even if their kids don’t want to participate or can’t afford it. “Yeah, five bucks is not a lot, but right now, so many are struggling, and it can add up, especially if this teacher throws a lot of parties or the parents have multiple kids.”
Dad Doesn’t Want to Contribute Money
Another person remarked that this wasn’t money for school lunch but for a special event that John’s daughter isn’t participating in. “I had a similar issue with a teacher last year; she took it out on my kid later. So even though you are not wrong, I guess be aware,” they warned.
Someone said this issue points to a more significant issue of excluding poor children because their parents might not have $5. “My school always sent letters to have parents pay, but we always ensured every kid got to go even if they didn’t have the money, as long as the permission slip was returned signed. The money the parents send in is to replenish the account. We were required to show we could pay for every kid when we applied for the event or trip.”
Another concerned individual wondered whether the teacher would deny certain kids from eating the pizza if their parents didn’t contribute financially. “And I’ll be honest, $5 per kid is a lot; how much pizza is this teacher planning on ordering?!”
This thread inspired this post.
This article first appeared on The Cents of Money.