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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 9:29 am
Disclaimer - we are hard working middle class people, we are by no means wealthy. We bh own a home and can cover our bills but we also have 6 digits of student debt.
In the last week and a half we bh got the EIDL loan and a larger payout then we expected from an insurance claim (we had flooding in our home)
Prior to these 2 unexpected checks DH bumped into the owner of my kids schools and got to talking. DH mentioned that our bills are up by like 25% since 2 years ago cuz of inflation and he doesn’t know how people on salary like our kids teachers are doing it. The school owner told DH it’s been really hard on some of the teachers. They ran a fundraising campaign and gave each of the teachers a small boost but it’s still bleak.
DH told me when the checks came in he wants to give maaser (we asked a Rav) to our kids teachers. I had no problem with it. DH contacted the school owner and he said to write checks out to our kids teachers and tell my child to drop it off at the office and the administrator is going to give it out to the teachers it’s for. For some reason this makes me so uncomfortable. Teachers - is this super weird? Like our names are on the checks. I kinda rather it be anon but DH said that he asked and the school said it’s fine if the teacher know who it’s from. After the threads the last few days with people bashing these types of parents I’m feeling super awkward even thou I’d be shocked if my kids teachers even know who I am lol. Bh kids are good and we’re low key parents …
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amother




Jade
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 9:34 am
Very generous of you, OP.

why can't you give the money to the school, earmarked for your children's teachers?

I don't understand. Is your school not paying their salaries, and this will cover them?
Or is it just a boost because it's hard due to inflation?

I'm a teacher, and would feel VERY uncomfortable if a parent gave me a tip over $100. My chanukah gelt from parents ranges from $18-25, and I would feel bribed or a tzedakah case not sure which
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 9:37 am
amother [ Jade ] wrote:
Very generous of you, OP.

why can't you give the money to the school, earmarked for your children's teachers?

I don't understand. Is your school not paying their salaries, and this will cover them?
Or is it just a boost because it's hard due to inflation?

I'm a teacher, and would feel VERY uncomfortable if a parent gave me a tip over $100. My chanukah gelt from parents ranges from $18-25, and I would feel bribed or a tzedakah case not sure which


Oh gosh. Was afraid of this reply.
I did give it to the school. They are going to pass it on to the teachers. But each individual check is made out to one of my kids teachers. Cringe
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amother




Babypink
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 10:09 am
if the money is going to the teacher from you there is no taxes.
If the money goes to the teacher from the school as a bonus they have to pay a lot of taxes on it and it may mess up their tax claims.
If it is a gift then it doesn’t go on taxes.

So giving privately may help in many ways.

It really depends on community.
I live in lkwd. Ppl give teachers generously.
My BIL is a rebbe and said some parents give him every Rosh Chodesh $100. I know ppl who do this also. Ppl give well over $100 as yom tov gifts. A neighbor is a rebbe in NY and he gets huge checks occasionally from parents.
Obviously not everyone does this but ppl who can do this.
In other communities this would be very unusual.
I think bec the principal said to do this then it is not uncommon in your community.
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Rubies




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 10:14 am
amother [ Jade ] wrote:
Very generous of you, OP.

why can't you give the money to the school, earmarked for your children's teachers?

I don't understand. Is your school not paying their salaries, and this will cover them?
Or is it just a boost because it's hard due to inflation?

I'm a teacher, and would feel VERY uncomfortable if a parent gave me a tip over $100. My chanukah gelt from parents ranges from $18-25, and I would feel bribed or a tzedakah case not sure which


In some places tips are appreciated and the bigger the better as it supplements the paycheck. It's not a bribe or charity but support and appreciation.
People give a much as they can in line with their finances.

Op, don't think so much. It's a beautiful thing you did.
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amother




Lemonlime
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 10:23 am
When I was teaching h.s. one year, all the teachers who taught a certain girl were given $50 bonuses. The parents gave it to the school to distribute. We were so impressed-this meant about 14 teachers.
P.S: This girl became my daughter-in-law! Seriously!
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watergirl




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 10:25 am
You lost me at "school owner". I've asked about this in the past. What on earth? In any city where I've lived BH there is no such thing as an owner of a school. There is a board, schools are non-profits (501c3 registered), and there is a administration in the school who answers to the board, who are elected. Owners? No.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 10:43 am
watergirl wrote:
You lost me at "school owner". I've asked about this in the past. What on earth? In any city where I've lived BH there is no such thing as an owner of a school. There is a board, schools are non-profits (501c3 registered), and there is a administration in the school who answers to the board, who are elected. Owners? No.


To PP I do live “in town” so thanks for that reply, makes me feel somewhat better.
Water girl - In in town communities it very normal for your average “joe” to decide to start a school. No board. Just an owner a principal and some office staff and you can try your luck…
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amother




Babypink
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 10:46 am
watergirl wrote:
You lost me at "school owner". I've asked about this in the past. What on earth? In any city where I've lived BH there is no such thing as an owner of a school. There is a board, schools are non-profits (501c3 registered), and there is a administration in the school who answers to the board, who are elected. Owners? No.


There is school owner who starts the school. (Puts out the money and effort to get it started). Still it’s a non profit.
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amother




Jade
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 10:58 am
I'm sorry I made you feel bad OP.
Again, it is SO nice that you think of your kid's teachers.

I live oot so we have no concept of larger tips, but you live in town.

Also, that was my opinion, but I know it's not my husband's. He's be thrilled for me to get it Smile
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 11:02 am
I live OOT too and my sons rebbe last year went above and beyond to help him catch up from a succession of class closures and what is probably some attention issues we are working on. I wanted to get him a gift at the end of the school year my friends were all telling me cash and more then $100 because if I paid a tutor I would have paid a lot more. I do end of year gifts so it doesnt feel like a bribe. Its really hakaras hatov.
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amother




Arcticblue
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 11:06 am
watergirl wrote:
You lost me at "school owner". I've asked about this in the past. What on earth? In any city where I've lived BH there is no such thing as an owner of a school. There is a board, schools are non-profits (501c3 registered), and there is a administration in the school who answers to the board, who are elected. Owners? No.


Where I live most schools have an owner. They started the school and often laid out money and put their necks on the line for it. Under them is the board and the hanhala. In a good school the owner leaves most decisions up to the board and doesn’t use his power as owner to control anything.
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amother




Puce
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 11:13 am
Op, I understand the awkwardness. The school wants this to be tax-free and not in their system, so they are doing it this way. But yes, it's ethically problematic to tip a teacher. I understand it's the norm in some places, but that doesn't make it right.

It's lovely that you want to help out, and I hope you will always be in a position to give. In the future, maybe you can give to a community tzedaka and earmark the gifts for the intended recipients so they don't know that the money came from you.
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lfab




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 11:15 am
OP, this is really really thoughtful and generous of you. I totally understand your thinking though that it's uncomfortable for both you and the teachers. If you haven't already given them the money 2 ideas:

1. Buy visa gift cards and put those in envelopes marked with the teacher's names so you remain anonymous and the teacher's won't know who gave it to them and feel awkward when dealing with you.

2. Wait until Purim time and gift it to them with their MM. Getting it as a gift for Purim presents much less as a tzedakka handout since many parents gift something Purim time (even if this is a much larger amount than typical it didn't have the same tzedakka feeling).
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LittleDucky




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 1:17 pm
It is an ethical issue to accept gifts like that. I dont care if it is "accepted practice". Just like the judges in Tanach had to be independently wealthy so not to be swayed by bribes and these were tzaddikim so how could we think they would take a bribe?! But they are human. We all feel differently when someone gives us a gift, no matter how above board or honest we think we are.

Therapists cannot and should not accept large gifts because it can sway their feelings/practices. Teachers should not accept gifts over a minimal amount. Even if included as MM, Rosh Chodesh gift or any other way. My kids school collects money for Chanukah and it gets put in an envelope that someone divides up. This way the teachers dont know who gave how much.

I think it is amazing you want to help out teachers. But please find a way to do it anonymously. Visa gift cards as one person posted are a great idea.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 7:23 pm
So unfortunately by the time I wrote this up, I couldn’t go back and take back the checks that I already sent in… I wouldn’t have done a visa gift card. I’ve had those and lost them and it was just too much money. I wish I would have done cash even thou it would have meant a bit more of a headache for me Sad oh well.
To the PP who wrote it’s unethical… OUCH 😬 I feel really stupid now
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amother




Jade
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 7:34 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
So unfortunately by the time I wrote this up, I couldn’t go back and take back the checks that I already sent in… I wouldn’t have done a visa gift card. I’ve had those and lost them and it was just too much money. I wish I would have done cash even thou it would have meant a bit more of a headache for me Sad oh well.
To the PP who wrote it’s unethical… OUCH 😬 I feel really stupid now


It's okay!
It was very sweet and thoughtful of you, and that's how the head of school wanted it done.
It's OK!!!!
Because if I stam got $200 from an anonymous parent, I'd constantly be wondering who it was from... Also not geshmak .


OP, you're fine.
May you and your husband be gebensht.
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amother




Cherry
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 10:14 pm
It sounds totally fine.
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Amarante




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Jan 13 2022, 10:26 pm
I don't think you - OP - were unethical for gifting the teachers in the manner you were told. You gifted them with a purity of heart and not with the intent to corrupt.

I think the issue of corruption has to do with a system in which substantial gifts are permitted to be given to teachers. Most institutions do not permit people with "power" over others to accept gifts because they can be viewed as bribes. While many teachers would not let a large gift impact their treatment of students, human nature being what it is, I would imagine there are enough teachers who would treat children differently if they were gifted.
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