It had been a tradition to give presents on Christmas. Presents could mean anything. Presents don’t have to be elaborate. A simple token purchased at a minimal price from online shops like Solo Gifts is enough to show gratitude. But regardless of how simple or elaborate gifts are, gift-giving can be controversial especially if given to public servants like our beloved educators.
Gifts for Educators
“In principle, civil servants are not allowed to accept anything,” says the chairman of a state parents’ council in a private interview. This applies to many countries and states of the world. But are gifts always and generally prohibited? No, because it depends on the individual case:
Strict rules apply in Baden-Württemberg . Class gifts are generally acceptable in the “socially usual framework”. But there is a limit for individual gifts: “Small gifts with a value of five euros are permitted. A poinsettia or self-baked cookies would be fine, ”says Nadine Gaupp from the Ministry of Culture in Stuttgart.
In Thuringia Bavaria, the following applies to gifts with a value of 25 euros or more. Be careful! According to Carolin Völk from the Bavarian State Ministry for Education, Science and the Arts, teachers are advised to first ask the employer whether it is okay to accept more expensive gifts with a presumed value of more than 25 euros. If it is less, the permission to receive the present is “to be regarded as tacitly given”.
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In Schleswig-Holstein, the Ministry of Education wants to “avoid any appearance that state employees could be susceptible to personal benefits in the course of performing their duties”. But there are also exceptions to the rule in the north, according to press spokesman Thomas Schunck. “The ban does not apply to low-value gifts up to a value of ten euros.”
A nice idea comes from Thuringia. The teachers there are generally forbidden to accept cash. And even if a gift value of less than 25 euros is okay, the Ministry of Education in the Free State recommends “generally refraining from gifts of value”. Press spokesman Frank Schenker knows an alternative: “If parents and children want to express their appreciation for their teachers, this can be done very nicely, for example, by means of pictures painted in class or poems recited together.” He agrees with Filiz Soytürk, Press officer at the Ministry for Schools and Education in Düsseldorf: In North Rhine-Westphalia, there are strict rules when it comes to gifts. The exception is attentions such as pralines, which “generally feel to be assessed as appropriate”. According to Soytürk, it is also important “that the gesture counts”.