Inappropriate gift?

Discussion in 'High School' started by Steve Olds, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. Steve Olds

    Steve Olds New Member

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    Dec 2, 2016

    Greetings all. First post. I tried to use the search function and couldn't find what I am looking for. Mods, sorry if this is in the wrong forum.

    OK. I will preface this question by stating that our principal has issued a directive addressing the favoritism shown to certain students as inappropriate. We have had a pretty big problem that got bad enough it was noticed and addressed. I was teaching a resource class the other day when a student ( junior) came in and proceeded to begin opening a birthday gift from their 45 year old social worker in front of every student in the class. I went to ask them to open the gift later in private and noticed that the gift was a night gown. And there were other gifts in the bag that I did not see. After some resistance the student did put the gift away.

    Now. I see two issues. One, she does not give every student a set of pajamas and who knows what else. Second, it seems like a VERY extravagant gift to be given to any student. Am I wrong here, and if not does someone need to know about this? Any insight would be helpful.
     
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  3. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Companion

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    Dec 2, 2016

    That sounds like an inappropriate gift to me. If it were me, I'd be looking into which channels I should be reporting that through.
     
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  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 3, 2016

    It would be one thing if the student received socks or sweats. That's a little too intimate a gift. I'd say something about it to administration.
     
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  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Dec 3, 2016

    This is something you have to go with your gut feeling on, I think. If it seems weird, it very well could be. There could also be a circumstance where the social worker knew that this kid had no pajamas, and this person was honestly trying to help out. But it might be better safe than sorry to just mention it to a supervisor.

    If nothing else, the gift should not have been opened in front of a whole class full of students.
     
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  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 3, 2016

    There's a BIG difference between cozy PJs and a nightgown.

    Editing to add: I ran this past Rockhubby, who now works with social workers on a regular basis. Not only is this scenario terribly inappropriate, it may violate the terms of his license as an LSW, depending upon the state in which this happened.
     
  7. Rigoroused

    Rigoroused Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2016

    Give the benefit of the doubt to the social worker. I come from an extremely impoverished school district, and our Social Workers were acting parents in many, many situations. This includes, clothing, items for student's babies, maternity wear, feminine products, undergarments, etc... Look at the whole picture, but your suspicions are not unfounded. If it were a male giving to a female (of course, there are no assumptions here), in an affluent district... that would be more troublesome than your situation... Again, you're not being paranoid, just observant. Maybe talk to the Social Worker and see if you can get some information about the student at hand... maybe her life is a shambles right now, and the social worker was legitimately trying to help.

    Hope it all works out!
    Ryan
    @MrRCF
     
  8. Steve Olds

    Steve Olds New Member

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    Dec 16, 2016

    Hi Ryan. I deliberately tried to frame the scenario in a neutral fashion to avoid generalities as the male/female thing. What if it was a gay female SW? Would that change the assumptions? I think the underlying appropriate/inappropriate thing is best. I think the SW put herself at risk of the student blackmailing her. All the student would have to say is " She made a sexual suggestion" and the nightgown becomes important. We must all be cautious and think our actions through. Good intentions are no longer a defense.
     
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  9. Rigoroused

    Rigoroused Rookie

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    Dec 16, 2016

    Note the "no assumptions" remark. Sounds to me like you have your mind made up... you know the situation better than any of us could. We are in a very litigious society, however there are also grey areas based upon need. I would never do this, nor would you. However, I am just saying if you're going to risk working relationships, possibly seek more facts, rather than assumptions. While you can never be "too safe", consider approaching it with, protecting ALL parties in mind. Protecting the student first and foremost, but also, protecting the SW from potentially becoming a target of accusations. All it would take is one accusation.
     
  10. Steve Olds

    Steve Olds New Member

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    Dec 16, 2016

    Thanks Ryan. I am not an investigator or administrator. Truth be told other than it being my student I have little skin in the game. Stuff like this is better handled by an administrator. It's already been dome, and there was no reaction from administration. Not my problem anymore, my ass is covered.
     
  11. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Dec 16, 2016

    Was it an actual gift? Our social worker distributes gift bags to students at our site sometimes, but these are things gathered using donated resources and/or gift cards. They can contain things from shoes, underwear to school supplies or snacks and are compiled based on need. Usually when gift cards are donated for a specific purpose (like hygiene items), the social worker will buy the items herself to ensure the actual need is met. At holidays, they will often make an effort to present the items nicely. Everything is documented though, so it is recorded what donations were used and for which students.

    Obviously, this is generally done very discretely.
     

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