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What the World is In/directly Teaching Children

The VIP Room at the Middle School Dance

a Los Angeles area charter school where students are receiving a lesson in the politics of rich and poor straight out of a third world country.

As Magiera recounts on her blog BellaNoise, her son’s junior high decided to add to the school’s traditional spring dance. Tickets to the event would be $15 — for the mere peons, that is. For the more well-to-do — or simply socially desperate — the school decided to charge an extra $5 for admission to a “VIP Lounge,” where, among other things, students would receive special access to a dessert bar and a swag bag. Magiera was horrified, and forbid her son from buying his way into special privileges…

winners of the lucky sperm and egg club raffle get to buy their way into the VIP Lounge while those with less in the way of funds get an early lesson in how they will likely spend their lives on the wrong side of the red velvet line, courtesy of their own school. And no, this is not just an  ”only in LA” story. Such situations are becoming increasingly common…

The school gives kids eligible for free school lunches extra spins in the school lottery used to determine admissions, which means there is likely a decent population of children in attendance who lack the $5 to separate themselves from the mass of their fellow students.

New West principal Sharon Weir did not respond to emails or telephone calls seeking comment. So instead I turned to Madeline Levine, the author of the soon to be published  Teach Your Children Well, for clarification. ”Frankly, this VIP idea reflects badly on kids, but even worse on the adults,” she told me.  ”No one gains from making some kids more ‘special’ than others, especially when special is based on having a few extra bucks.”

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