This parent complaint is ridiculous from the start yet (unfortunately) nothing out of the ordinary for the everyday teacher. Parents somehow think that it is completely the instructor's responsibility to pass their child in every class despite the parent obviously getting in between the child's learning potential by not getting them to school on time or enforcing their time on the computer for the online classes.
However, this conversation quickly pivots from a typical school complaint to a domestic affair with the parent accusing the teacher of inappropriately contacting their husband in regard to their child's well-being, which is completely ridiculous. Then they expect the teacher to call daily to check in on their daughter? A bougie daycare doesn't even do that much! We all know who the actually lazy one is here, and it's not Ms. Jackson.
Sticks and Stones
One of the main reasons that parents go ballistic on teachers is a lack of common sense. Or personal responsibility. You know what, it's probably a little bit of both. Anyway, this parent filed a serious accusation of physical abuse to the school administration against this poor teacher, claiming that they "hit her child and bruised him." Despite the teacher's logical deduction that the supposed "hitting" happened across the school building from her classroom, the parent continued to threaten the school with legal action.
They eventually found out that the child actually did have a bruise on his arm but he had a hockey game the night before, which is 100% where he could have acquired the bruise. The mother continued to threaten to sue the school but nothing much came from the situation. It only ended once the school's lawyers struck back and the mother backed down.
Just another case of a parent refusing to check emails, answer their phone, or read notes sent from a teacher only to be "completely shocked" that their kid's failing multiple tests and tanking their report card. This teacher gave the parent every opportunity for the parent to be involved in their child's schooling, including a requirement that the parent signs each test under 70%.
That's not good enough for this mother, surprisingly enough, so it's only when the progress reports release that she decides to take action very publicly. Is it not enough to embarrass yourself and humiliate the teacher? Why subject your daughter to public shaming as well? The principal ended up temporarily quelling the mother's rage before she pulling her daughter out of school over Christmas break.
This teacher's story reaches a whole new level of messed up. This parent wasn't exactly difficult like the other raging moms, but she's equally bad, if not 10x worse. During a meeting -- the topic of which is undisclosed -- a parent admitted to the teacher and her coworkers that she "didn't believe black people could properly raise children."
A comment like this is already so racist it's almost unbelievable, but it's worsened by the fact that every co-worker in the room was a black mother. We have no idea how this mother could read the room so poorly. Or if she was intentionally targeting the workers. Who knows! Whatever the case, the teacher was left paralyzed by this completely out-of-left-field claim.
All Tied Up
While many teacher stories involving difficult parents feature a child's poor grades as the primary point of contention, other stories follow a more interesting plotline. Take this short and sweet anecdote as the first example: a teacher is yelled at by a parent for refusing to tie a student's shoe.
That's it. No bad grades. No tardies. No detention slips. Just an 8th-grade student who didn't tie his shoe and pinned it on his teacher. We don't even know where to begin with this story. Don't most kids learn the bunny-ear method by age 6? And the teacher claims her student is not Special Ed, yet the mother must have been tying her son's shoes for thirteen years!
Anyone who has attended college or been a parent to a college attendee knows of a little act called FERPA. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a document that allows the university to share grades with parents at the consent of the student. Thus, parents are completely barred from viewing their child's grades if the student refuses to grant them access. By the time a student gets to college, it should be implied that they have control over how their grades are monitored as most of them are at least 18.
Unfortunately, helicopter parents struggle when their bright and shining child leaves the nest. This mother contacted her son's college requesting to see his grades. When that doesn't work, she sent a fake email pretending to be her son to Student Services in an attempt to trick the staff into illegally releasing information. She even got some of her friends to go to the college and berate the staff! In the wise words of this poor staff member, "if your kid has made it to University, cut the strings."
Children are volatile creatures and how they are raised has a huge influence on their behavior. While there are definitely psychological and physical factors that impact student behavior, their parents are a big part of the discipline and learning process. So-called "problem children" should be given extra TLC from parents, staff, and teachers in order to ensure their success. This child, unfortunately, wasn't getting that from home.
According to the kindergartener's teacher, the child developed "severe behavior problems" when his parents decided that he no longer needed his medications. Red flag #1! On top of hitting other kids and overturning class furniture, he would run out of the building during class. His parents' magical solution: granola bars for his "hangry" habits. Needless to say, the granola didn't work and the child was relocated to a "behavior-focused classroom."
Like we mentioned before, children require the support of their parents, teachers, and school staff to succeed in the classroom, especially if they suffer from learning or physical disabilities. IEPs (Individual Learning Plans) are designed to help struggling students if they are identified to require extra help from a teacher's aide. Sounds great, right? That is until a parent comes in and takes advantage of the system for extra cash. One teacher wrote that she had to call parents into a conference regarding their daughter's poor behavior and lack of participation, but the mother already had a plan in place.
She toted in a "large stuffed binder overflowing with information" on her daughter in order for her to be labeled for an "IEP." After psychological testing, the child was revealed to have "normal abilities, but would usually disguise how much she could actually do academically." Apparently, the parents were receiving government checks because of their child's trouble in school. Long story short, they were sabotaging their daughter's future for some spending money.
Not one person longs to hear from their family that they were a "mistake" or that they were one of their parent's primary regrets. Not only are comments like that supremely damaging to a child's psyche, but it's a reflection of the parent's poor personality and should never be used to justify child neglect. There's a lot to unpack with this story, so let's start at the beginning.
A mother comes into a Parent-Teacher conference and sees that her child has stellar behavior in class. Awesome! Then sees that her son's lowest grade on the report card is a C. Not too shabby! Well, not to the mother. She starts crying hysterically and claims that she "should've had an abortion" when her husband died because "being that sad ruins that baby." Um, what? How is her son "ruined" for having a C in one class? Talk about misplaced priorities...
Like the last mother, some parents have such high expectations for their kids in regard to school that they're merely sending their children down a dangerous path riddled with self-esteem issues and anxiety. Plus, they're setting themselves up for a lifetime of disappointment as well. What's wrong with letting your child learn from mistakes instead of suffering from them time and time again?
This teacher did everything in their power to help a child catch up when they were placed in second grade despite being a year behind academically compared to the rest of the class. After a year of hard work, the child reached a second-grade level, so the teacher felt comfortable keeping her in second grade in order to properly catch up. Instead of looking at how much progress their daughter made in a year, the parents blamed the teacher for not performing some magic spells to get her ahead.
Cheating and plagiarism are not tolerated in any academic environment. Principles of honesty, originality, and integrity are instilled in students as young as Kindergarten so that they are encouraged to complete and submit their original work throughout their lives. Therefore, high school students should be well aware that cheating is never an option and has dire consequences, usually resulting in expulsion after the mercy period maxes out.
It's almost unheard of for a high schooler to acquire over 27 cheating infractions and still be attending the school, so it's lucky that this kid even received a grade for his work. Most of the time kids cheat because they are ill-prepared to take the test, which is a result of poor study skills, lack of interest, or a pair of coddling parents, perhaps!
This teacher shared a few stories to Reddit, each anecdote becoming increasingly more ridiculous than the last. First, they explained that as an 8th-grade pre-algebra teacher, they see hundreds of kids every day, but still managed to send "numerous emails" informing a parent of her son's 21 missing assignments. Not only did the mother complain that she's "too busy" to read emails, but she "can't be bothered to type in a website" on the computer. And she wonders where her son's work ethic came from...
Second, the teacher shared an incident that can only be classified as the biggest overreaction we've ever read about. A middle-schooler told their father that they were having trouble seeing the board, so the parent decided to complain to the principal instead of taking his kid to the eye doctor. On top of that, the father complained of the teacher's "scary and intimidating" disposition. All she did was ask the student if they had an eye exam recently.
Remember that story about the helicopter mom who tried to strong-arm her son's university into giving her access to grades? Yeah, she has nothing on this mom. There's a big difference between giving a teacher important check-ins about their child and being so overbearing that you might as well look into homeschooling. This teacher detailed the many crazy habits one of their student's mothers did during the school day.
Starting with emailing them every morning to detail "what her son had for breakfast and how much of it he ate," the teacher goes on to say that she would call the school to see if her son was too hot and "needed to take his sweater off" (with assistance, apparently), do all of his homework. and watch him during recess from the other side of the fence... This woman obviously has nothing better to do with her day.
Sometimes parents go so ballistic during talks with parents that the police have to get involved! We're not kidding! Take the following story as an example: a kid got a B+ on an essay, which is an above-average grade, yet the student's mother was so upset that she harassed his teacher until the local PD got involved.
How did the situation devolve so quickly, you ask? Well, the mother started the conversation with simple requests to discuss the student's grade but increased to threatening language within the same hour. For instance, she said, "Respond to me or I will come to your house to discuss this. Yes, I know where you live and I know where your kids go to school. You WILL speak to me." That's a surefire way to get attention, but only the bad sort.
Another teacher shared a story of when she had to miss class for "two full school weeks" because her mother, who "had been terminally ill for two years," suffered a heart attack, slipped into a coma, and subsequently passed away. Sounds like a reasonable excuse to take a break from teaching for a couple of weeks, right? Not according to this mother.
Apparently one of the students was completely uninterested in any type of class participation, even when the teacher was in the classroom. So what happens when a kid does none of the electronic work that the teacher assigns? Bad grades. Duh. But of course, the kid's mother decided to complain to the teacher over the phone, yelling, "I don't care if your mother died or not, my boy does not deserve zeros." How heartless can one person be?
Priorities, people. If your kid spends some class time working on their crossword skills instead of paying attention, it's really not the end of the world. Sure, it's not the best use of your tuition dollars, the state's dollars, or your student's precious education time, but there's no reason to freak out about being a little distracted.
Also, aren't crossword puzzles inherently educational? We have a feeling that they develop some sort of concrete problem-solving or language skill -- probably both. All this to say, if you yell at your elementary-aged daughter for something as trivial as a minor classroom misdemeanor such as working on a crossword puzzle, you have a lot more problem coming your way.
Like Father Like Son
Some students' poor behavior can be directly traced back to the demeanor of their parents, so whose fault is it, really? This teacher obviously was already having a hard time reigning in their student for his lack of engagement for in-class activities on top of blatant disrespect.
So when they invited the student's father in for a touch base about his son's behavior... Surprise, surprise! He's just as bad. No amount of emails, phone calls, or one-on-one meetings can make these kinds of care about education or authority in the slightest. Do they think sniggering is an appropriate form of communication? Must be a generational thing...
Unsuccessful parent-teacher interactions usually follow a prescribed pattern, such as this poor educator's experience. If a student isn't held accountable for their grades or absences on top of a healthy dose of encouragement from their parents, then it must be the teacher's fault! It's not like a parent is responsible for getting their kid to school on time or keeping track of where they are until they're legal adults.
Believe it or not, teachers are not "out to get" their students. If they're failing, the teacher has probably exhausted every loophole and alternative avenue to help the student succeed. However, if parents aren't just as dedicated to help their children even show up to school then there's a problem. The basics of learning include listening and practicing, which means attending class every once in a while.
Turns out learning a new language takes more practice than one hour sessions once a week without practice. How is it possible for this father to be so dedicated to his daughter's education if he isn't willing to practice the vocabulary words with her in the evening? We have a hard time believing that he knows his way around the language learning process.
Our hearts go out to all the kids out there who feel like they're not good enough because they didn't immediately pick up a new skill or meet their parent's impossible expectations. Unfortunately, it happens more than you'd think! The worst parents out there either don't care at all or care way too much.
We've already made this apparent, but it stands true: if your child is in college, leave the professors alone. We understand that paying for college is expensive and you're desperate to make sure that your hard-earned money doesn't go to waste on poor grades. However, it's probably not the professor's fault that your kid skips class to nap in the dorm.
Online classes take unparalleled amounts of self-discipline, as the past year of kids surely understand. We get that sometimes you fail and have to try again, yet trying again usually implies improvement instead of begging your parents to be "negotiators" on your behalf. Either you do the work or you don't, and parents should understand that as the adults in the house.