Let me just quote Son #3:
"Gym lockers are mandatory. I never used mine. And I did not know, when they assigned me the locker, that there was a $3 fee for it. If I don't pay the fee, they won't let me graduate. I had to pay for a regular locker, too. $5. And I shouldn't have had to pay for that, either, because I never used it, never wanted it, but it's mandatory. It's not a lot of money, but still. It's like when you're at a stop light and some hobo 'washes' your windshield with dirty water, and expects you to pay him. Of course, there's nothing wrong with NOT paying the hobo, but if you don't pay the government, they won't let you graduate."
Excellent analogy, my son who was just informed he has been selected for a program for students with the potential to be high academic achievers.
And on a totally unrelated note (or absolutely connected, depending on your perspective), yesterday I had to proofread an article about negotiations between the school board and the teacher's union of a nearby public school system.
The union rep insisted that the schools would never be able to hire enough summer school teachers, if they did not raise the pay rate by $4/hour. The rate the school system is currently offering summer school teachers is, according to the union rep, "not even what they pay a first-year teacher."
What is this pittance they expect teachers to accept in exchange for their services on a summer morning? This ridiculously low amount no teacher in a sane frame of mind would stoop to accept?
No, that is not a typo.