The acceptance of personal gifts by school personnel from school suppliers, from parents and/or students can be subject to misinterpretation and a source of embarrassment to the school system and all persons involved.  When families, students, or others wish to express personal appreciation to a teacher or other staff member, the School Committee urges them to find modes of expression that do not involve personal gifts.

Gifts worth less than $50

Teachers and other school personnel may accept gifts that arc worth less than S50, but they must disclose in writing the fact that they have done so if, based on the circumstances, a reasonable person would conclude that the teacher might unduly show favor to the giver or the giver's child because of the gift. Disclosure should be made to the Superintendent.

Gifts worth more than $50

Gifts worth more than $50 are prohibited, unless they are class gifts.

Class gifts

Class gifts to teachers are permitted under the following circumstances:

Parents and students of a class, acting together, may give a gift worth up to $150 to a teacher, provided that the gift is identified only as being from the class, and the names of the givers and the amounts given are not identified to the teacher. A single class gift worth up to $150, or several class gifts during the school year with a total value up to $150 may be given.

A teacher may not accept any other gift from someone who has contributed to a class gift Therefore, if an individual gift is offered, before accepting it; the teacher must confirm that the giver did not contribute to the class gift.

Gifts to the classroom or the school

A gift given to a teacher to use only in the classroom or to buy classroom supplies is not considered a gift to the teacher personally, and is, therefore not subject to the $50 limit on personal gifts to teachers. Parents may give gifts to the classroom or school in accordance with the rules of the school district. A teacher who receives such a gift must keep receipts documenting that the money was used for classroom supplies.

Gifts to teachers after the school year has ended

A gift may be received by a teacher after the school year has ended and grades have been reported provided that: 1) the giver did not contribute to the class gift; and 2) the gift is worth less than $50. The teacher is not required to file a disclosure if the teacher will not have further contact with the student.

Legal references:       M.G.L. Chapter 268A, §§ 3,23(b)(2) and 23(b)(3) 930 CMR 5.08(14)

Adopted: March 4, 1999        

Reviewed: October 17, 2013