UPDATED: New York school makes poor kids huddle indoors while richer students attend carnival

Flushing's PS 120 asked kids to contribute $10/each to a carnival held in the school-yard during school hours, and kids who couldn't pay had to sit in the auditorium watching old Disney movies and listening to the shrieks of delight from outside.

Students who attended the event returned to class with toys and bags of popcorn. The commercial carnival operator charged the school about $6200 to run the carnival. About 100 students couldn't afford the $10 fee.

Update: The carnival's owner is a mensch: "I'm in the business for over 25 years and always put kids first," said Gary Pincus, president of Send in the Clowns Entertainment. "Therefore, I would love to do a free carnival for all the kids that weren't permitted to attend… If I had known that there were kids not allowed to attend the carnival, I would have paid for them."

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.

"Are we being punished?" one child asked an aide in the auditorium as kids sat there with no movie playing, a staffer said.

Principal Joan Monroe tacked up a list of the number of students per class: "How many attending, Paid," and "How many not attending, Not paid."

No pay, no play! Poor kids banned from school carnival [Susan Edelman/New York Post]

(via Mitch Wagner)