What Gifts Can Alabama Teachers Ethically Accept?

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- An Alabama teacher who accepts a Christmas ham or a $25 gift card from a student will be violating breaking Alabama's tough new ethics law. The possible penalty? Up to a year in jail and a $6,000 fine.

The law allows public officials and employees to accept gifts with only "de minimis" value, but it doesn't give any amount. As schools get ready for the holidays, the State Ethics Commission has been flooded with calls about what students can give their teachers.

The commission said Wednesday "hams, turkeys or gift cards with a specific monetary value are not permissible." Homemade cookies, coffee mugs and fruit baskets are OK.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Alabama's ethics law is applied more broadly than any other state.

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  • by I. Arlyin Location: Florida on Dec 7, 2011 at 08:24 PM
    Suppose the parent gives the teacher a 25 dollar or above amount gift. What difference does it make to the State of Alabama what the teacher gets from their students. Don't yall think yall are sticking your nose in where it doesn't belong. Some people are very appreciated of their teachers who give a rats *ss whether or not the student learns anything.Some teachers really don't care one way or the other. But some go way beyond school resources and spend their own money to try new approches to try to get the student to understand and be able to learn. One time out of the year a student can say thank you with a gift and yall want to stop them from doing even that.Do yall really have to wonder why some students don't graduate ? The budget is not there where they can. And if a teacher goes all the way out to make a difference, can't the student get him or her a gift of their choosing ?
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