One school gives student a Dodge Caliber...just for showing up.
Say what? A Chicago public school awarded student Ashley Martinez with a brand new $17,500 Dodge Caliber for having a flawless attendance record during two 3-month periods. Even more bizarre: Ashley is only 12 years old. Get out of Dodge!
Frank Shuftan, a spokesman for the Chicago Public School System, says the school awarded Ashley the car as part of a plan to boost classroom attendance, which has leveled off at 91% over the last few years. He also says incentives such as cars (or vacations, computers, and iPods) are part of the school's plan to generate general student enthusiasm.
"Perfect attendance means having a good education, and you'll have a better future," says Ashley.
By attending school every day in any one of three 3-month periods, 189,115 students were eligible for a chance at the car, reports the Chicago Tribune. Ashley had perfect attendance for two of those periods. Of those eligible, about 150 names were randomly selected, and those students and parents were invited to a car dealership to put a key in the ignition and see if the car would start.
Since Ashley will have to wait four years to drive the car, for the time being, her parents get to enjoy the ride.
"The school is setting a very bad example," says family counselor Roseanne Toby, L.P.C. "Kids shouldn't be rewarded for things they're supposed to be doing anyway. What's more, when we overindulge children for giving the bare minimum, it will be difficult for them to reach higher in life. This is just not how life works."
Tell us what you think: Should kids be rewarded for doing things they are supposed to do? Would you allow your child to accept such an expensive and grownup gift?