Speed Reads

Only in America

Only in America: Criminalizing Christmas

Alabama teachers face jail time for accepting holiday gifts from students — and more in our collection of strange revelations about the nation

Alabama schoolchildren who want to give their teacher a Christmas present should keep it simple — and cheap. According to a new statewide anti-bribery law, any teacher who accepts a non-token gift faces jail time and a $6,000 fine. Unacceptable bribes include a gift card, ham, or turkey. When teachers, parents, and even Gov. Robert Bentley (R) protested, the state ethics commission was unmoved, responding: "The suggestion that it is harmless for a schoolchild to give a Christmas gift to their teacher ignores the potential for abuse."