Brutal budget cuts to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC preceded the current economic crisis, and during the crisis, the museum has suffered not only retroactive budget cuts within each of the past 2 (or 3?) fiscal years, but has also suffered a decrease in private donors and foundation support.
However, the AMNH continues to maintain an admissions policy of "suggested donation." A family of 5 can arrive at the museum, and say we are 5 people and we would like to donate $5. They will be given an admission pin, just like the family that paid the "suggested donation" of $19 per adult, and $10 per child.
The museum made the hard decision that continuing to open their doors to low income families is more important than updating exhibits, staffing all rooms, and even protecting their valuable resources. I support that decision. But it makes me sad and angry.
I think that this kid said that he was at the LA Natural History Museum. I am certain that their budget has suffered, just as museums across the country have suffered. I don't know what hard decisions the staff at this museum have had to make.
This kid opened the drawer, and found it empty. There was no one near him when he opened the drawer, just as there was no one near whatever thief or vandal emptied the contents of that drawer. If the museum were properly funded, and properly staffed, this would not have happend. This makes me furious.
Our national values are all screwed up. And we are producing kids like him.