Parents are outraged when a Townsville primary school ruled to hold children's handmade Mother's Day gifts unless they pay for their creation .Children as young as four will be forced to pay for their own art work if they want to take them home for their mothers.
A Cranbook State School parent voiced out that her children were being punished for something they couldn't do. She further said that parents contribution are supposed to be voluntary.
The parents were notified through the school's newsletter that provides that children will be allowed access to all learning activities, however children of parents who have not contributed to the scheme will not be allowed to keep the school resources. This policy was set out by the Principal itself.
The newsletter also provides that teachers would decide what the children could buy and how much they have to pay in order for the crafts to go home with them.
An unnamed parent voiced out her doubts about the kind of system the teachers would use to determine the value of the gifts. Despite a low fee of $40, the unnamed parent said that it may not be economically easy on some families.
The policy may also cause the children who didn't pay for the crafts to be victimised by their peers.
Education Queensland North Queensland regional director Mike Ludwig said the department did not support discrimination based on socio-economic status and schools were required to adhere to the policy.
''The principal of the school in question has reconsidered the decision to withhold items made in class from students whose families chose not to provide a voluntary contribution,'' he said.
He said a state-wide review into voluntary contributions schemes, school fees and textbook and resource schemes was undertaken during 2009 and a revised policy is expected to be finalised this year for implementation from the start of 2011.
Religious Education, Curriculum, ICT and Indigenous Education assistant director Ernie Christie said the Catholic Education system had no fee for students participating in craft activities and they encouraged parents and carers to see their child's work.
''Generally there are no restrictions as to what artwork children can take home - in fact it is encouraged,'' he said.