Low-income students banned from school carnival

Kids who didn't pay a $10 fee were forced to sit out on the end-of-the-year festivities.

This heartbreaking news out of a Queens public school has New Yorkers in an uproar... PS 120 in Flushing recently held a carnival for its students, but kids whose parents didn't pay a $10 fee were forced sit out on the fun. Most of the students who were excluded from the carnival are from poor Chinese immigrant families.

No pay, no play! Poor kids banned from school carnival

Nearly 900 kids, from pre-K to fifth grade, took turns participating in the end-of-the-year carnival, enjoying inflatable slides, a bouncing room, a teacup ride and sweet treats. Meanwhile, more than a hundred of their classmates, unable to pay the ten bucks, were forced to sit in the school auditorium and watch a Disney movie.

According to the New York Post, Principal Joan Monroe insisted on getting accurate tallies of who paid and who didn't, and refused to bend her policy because it wouldn't be "fair" to those who paid the fee. Try explaining that to the poor kids who were left out.

The must-pay rule excluded some of the poorest kids at the elementary, where most parents are Chinese immigrant families crammed into apartments and “struggling to keep their heads above water,” staffers said.

"It’s breaking my heart that there are kids inside," one teacher said.

The teacher hugged a 7-year-old girl who was “crying hysterically.”

“She was the only one from her class who couldn’t go, so she was very upset,” the teacher said.

The girl told others, “My mom doesn’t care about me.” But the teacher said parents possibly did not see or understand the flier that went home or didn’t have $10 to spare.

After the Post reported about the PS 120 carnival, at least a half-dozen people have reportedly reached out in support of the kids who were left out. Offers include funds to foot the bill next time around, a trip to an amusement park or Chuck E. Cheese's, and a second carnival for all the students.

Meanwhile the Department of Education and local lawmakers say they're going to investigate the incident, promising to take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

More here: Poor kids banned from school carnival might have the last laugh

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