Teachers are life-savers. They deal with so much more than just regular classroom curriculum. On the daily, teachers deal with troublesome students, cheating, drama and all the above. Along with those troubling students comes their crazy and entitled parents. In this piece, teachers share the most ridiculous, entitled parents they have ever encountered. Content is edited for clarity.
"A parent of a student last year is a lawyer. He scheduled a lunch meeting with me to discuss his son's attitude in my class (sure, my only duty-free break is a great time for me to listen to your nonsense, no problem). He claimed that his son didn't like the way I facilitated my class, and he would appreciate it if I altered my teaching style and personality (his words) while his son was in my class.
I managed to swallow all of my outrage, blinked a couple of times, and did my best to calmly ask him how effective it was the last time he demanded a judge to alter her court to accommodate his sensitivity and counseling style.
'Point taken. I think we're done here.'"
"I had a kid who was pretty much an all A student in one of my classes, but he was the kind of kid who got by with barely over 90% by doing the bare minimum. We did a big research project and he just didn't turn one in.
A month or so later he got his report card, and he had a B in my class. So the first thing that happened was that his parents sent him to me to see if he could turn in the assignment late for partial credit. Well, by that time it was so late that even with partial credit it wouldn't have bumped his grade up to an A.
After that, his parents went to the principal and claimed that he had turned the project in but that I must have lost it. I told the principal about him coming to me to try to get partial credit (she also talked to the student who gave the same story), so she gave the parents a call with me sitting there in her office.
The parents denied any knowledge of him coming to me for partial credit. She just said, 'the grade stands' and hung up on them."
"I, along with a number of other teachers, were in a parent teacher conference because this boy's grades had gone down the drain. When the father was given a stack of papers showing incomplete work, smart aleck answers on tests, etc., he pushed them away and told us that he believed his son 100%. Apparently, it was all our fault and his son was a hard worker.
My wife has a student whose mother called the school board because she had the audacity to wake her son up on class. The school's policy is now that when he sleeps, they let him sleep, but call mom to come pick him up and take him home."
"A lady and myself were mentoring at risk 15/16 year olds, basically kids who couldn't focus in the classroom got put on course we ran for something a bit more creative, like graphic design, music, photography etc.
It was a massive privilege for them to be on the course, but some of them didn't see it that way. We were with a new group for about three or four months and were down to the people who were focused and willing. Some issues we had to deal with were incredibly sobering, like a boy of age 16 not being able to spell 'Because' or 'While' or 'Use.' A new kid joined us and immediately tried to be alpha and to show off.
In the few weeks he'd been with us, he tried to antagonize the tutor I was with (we'll call her Jazz) and when I took him aside to talk him down, he'd always say, 'She's disrespecting me man! Just like that last hag!'
He obviously wasn't of the opinion that respect is earned, but that was the least of his issues.
Anyway, the following week my agency was spread too thin, so one of us had to mentor across London, leaving us a person down. Jazz opted to take the regular class as it was closer to where she lived. That same day, after the kids had their lunch break, the new guy convinced everyone to not come back off of lunch. So Jazz was left reading her book for the afternoon thinking that was that...except he came back his self and attempted to grope her.
It was horrifying for her and she couldn't come back to teaching. I quit soon after. The reality that there were people out there who would do that to somebody who completely and utterly wants to help them was too apparent.
It also transpired that the reason he was expelled from his last school was because 'that last hag' was a teacher he had attacked while she was trying to tutor him after hours. So big thanks to the school for telling us that.
I did a parents evening one time when one of the students came in with his eldest sister/guardian.
Before we could say anything about him, the sister bellows, 'Are you the prick who's been disrespecting him?'
'I'm the person who has been trying to mentor him, though I don't doubt he see's me that way.'
'Well, you gotta realize, you can't expect him to respect you if you won't even give him respect.'
'Can I ask how I've disrespected you, Lionel?'
'You ain't been calling me Shifty...'
'That's right! Why comes you ain't been calling him Shifty?'
'Because his name is Lionel.'
'But Shifty his street name! He has respect from people because of that name.'
'Ma'am, I'm employed to teach young-adults, not children. Lionel can choose to be taught elsewhere if he likes, but in the interim he will lose his EMA (our grant to 16+yr olds to continue education). Now in the meantime, I can tell you how Lionel has been doing if you are interested.'"
"There was a final project that I assigned at the beginning of the semester (March) and it was due the last day of classes before exams started (late May). The students were even encouraged to turn it in early so they could 'fix it' for a higher grade if they needed. Additionally, the students were given full class periods to work on the project in school, as well as me showing multiple examples.
Furthermore, they were given many options in completing the project. It was a Shakespearean assignment (I teach high school English). Some project options were: create a Globe Theatre replica, perform a monologue from Julius Caesar, perform a skit with other students that shows you know the play content (Julius Caesar), make a news parody of the time (think CNN in Roman times), or make a board game that is Julius Caesar themed.
The stupidest complaint I got was that one parent emailed and called multiple times to complain that her child's assignment was costing her too much money in supplies. I was confused because most of the assignments were literally free to do (skit performance, monologue, etc.). Her kid decided to do the Globe Theater and INSISTED on getting all new supplies. This is after I encouraged all the students to use found objects around the home because it would be 'cooler' that way. The kid's final project obviously did cost a pretty penny in supplies (hat boxes, wood, etc.) but I specifically told the parent that there were 15 other options the child could have chosen. I didn't hear from her again after that."
"I was a TA for a freshman level class at my University. The first day of class, the professor assigned a paper they would have ALL SEMESTER to write in lieu of a final exam. Since I had taken the class while I was an undergrad and still had my paper, I offered to help the students along with theirs and even made my old paper available for them to see as an example if they had questions.
As the end of the semester neared, more and more students would make appointments to meet with me outside of class to go over their paper or email them to me for suggestions/revisions. I told them this was on a first-come-first-served basis since I had classes of my own and finals to study for.
About 2:00 a.m. the day the paper was due, a student emailed me saying I HAD TO MEET HER to go over her paper before 4:00 when it was due. I told her unfortunately I wouldn't be able to meet with her as I had class all day. If she had contacted me earlier, I would have made time for her, but there was no way to fit her in at such late notice.
When I arrived in class that day, the professor pulled me aside to let me know he received a horrible email from the STUDENT'S MOTHER saying I put her daughter in an unfair position by REFUSING to meet with her to discuss her paper. I showed him the email the student had sent me and, more importantly, the time it had been sent. We both had a good laugh about it."
"When I was a high school teacher at a disadvantaged/inner city school, I heard a nearly infinite string of incredibly stupid things from parents. However, there is one thing that will stick with me to the day I die because it was just so fundamentally ignorant and such a sad example of the effects of poverty and under-education.
Years ago, a mother comes to parent teacher conferences. I was shocked she was even there, honestly, because her kid was practically non-existent in my classroom. Generally, the parents of those kids are as absent as they are.
So she shows up, and I'm doing my best to discuss what little performance this student has shown in my class, etc. She interrupts with:
'Why haven't you taught my kid to read???'
This student was a 17-year old who had failed 9th grade three times and was in my rock-bottom-remedial-reading course. He had attended the class maybe three times in that semester and spent most of his time skipping school to go smoke weed. Here was this woman, asking me why I specifically hadn't taught him to read. Never mind why the dozen or more teachers who preceded me hadn't been able to reach him. Never mind that he was one year away from legal adulthood and he still couldn't read. Never mind that his own mother was sitting there passing the buck to me, a person who had seen this young man for less than two hours of his entire life. Why hadn't I taught him to read?
That moment will always stand out to me as a perfect example of the sort of problems that plague and ultimately destroy impoverished and uneducated communities."
"I used to teach third grade at a private school. Parents at private schools are the worst! Anyway, I had a student who nobody was inviting to birthday parties because he was showing all the other children x-rated videos because every kid had their own laptop (the school had a really cool system that was based on making children do their own research). All laptops were protected so that children couldn't access any bad sites, but as always, kids find a way.
So this kid was showing all the others the videos and the kids told their parents. Parents didn't freak out, but they decided this one kid was not a good example and stop inviting him to all parties.
Mom comes to school and demands we force other parents to invite his kid again. We tell her we are going to talk to students, but she has to make sure her son stops showing the videos to everyone.
After a couple of weeks, one of the kids makes a party and invites everyone. Kid goes to party and shows his genitals to all the girls. Once again, he stops being invited. Mom comes back and threaten us with a lawsuit for promoting bullying. After half a year of problems, dad walks in the office and asks for us. He explains that the real problem is that mom is not being invited by all the other moms to daily coffee or breakfast and that is why mom is so upset. He also asks us if there is anything we can do so that other moms start inviting his wife again."
"The worst was when I had a student in my English III class whose mom was an elementary teacher and tried to accuse me of having an affair with a student. They were also hosting an exchange student in their household. Since the grades didn't translate over in his country, his grades didn't matter, so I gave him A's on almost every assignment.
Anyway, her son starts skipping and acting up, fails to turn in his final portfolio. Meanwhile, exchange student is genuinely interested in class and asks for outside tutoring. When the son emails only 7 paragraphs of what should have been a 40-something page physical portfolio, including a sentence that read, 'I'm counting on your social life that you won't actually read this and just take pity on me and give me the points,' I give said student a failing grade on final project.
Mom (fellow elementary teacher) flips out and emails my principal telling him that I tried to have an AFFAIR with the foreign exchange student because I was tutoring him and essentially tries to ruin my career because her son is a schmuck.
Luckily, my principal didn't buy it, but I can only imagine the storm it could have turned into. We had to have a conference (which happened on my birthday) and I never got an apology.
Her son told other teachers, 'My mom says I don't have to listen to you.'
He has a serious problem with female authority."
"I've done demonstrations in school as part of a Physics Outreach program and I have had all sorts complaints made against the group, and some specifically against me.
Some of them are just petty stuff, like scaring their child with a loud noise and bang (which we warn them about), or from pouring liquid nitrogen on the hands of one of the demonstrators (after showing what it does to organic items). One mother called me up, on my mobile which I assume the headmaster gave out, calling me a monster for putting her daughter on a Van de Graaf generator as I could have 'given her a heart attack' (and the parents had all signed off on this stuff).
The worst incident though was when a mother tried to ruin my career, before it had started, because her daughter asked a religious question. We were talking about space and I was talking about the Drake Equation, so was opening with a demonstration of how massive the Universe is. A girl raised her hand and asked 'Where is God then?' and I politely responded with something to the effect 'Science doesn't concern itself with the existence of God, we just observe the physical world and make models to explain what it is out there.' I usually have a very strong anti-theistic kick, so I considered that a very unloaded response. I didn't try to undermine their faith or say that it was wrong, just stated a pretty middle of the road, non-confrontational response. Her mother did not see it that way.
It ended with me getting a restraining order against the woman, not allowing her within a set distance, and barring her from all forms of communication with me, my family and a large chunk of my colleagues. She called me all the time and left aggressive voicemails. She would email me throughout the day, which made reading the several hundred legitimate emails I get difficult. She also tried to smear my name by making a false child abuse claim against me (which was what guaranteed the restraining order). In court, she claimed it was motivated because 'I had made things awkward' and that it wasn't my place to preach atheism.
Being someone who just travels to school means I don't get any of the standard protections, but I still do the shows. I love science too much to stop."
"While working at an all day preschool that was diverse, one mother was very angry that the class did not say a prayer before eating. I reminded her that the preschool was tied in with the school district and was not a religious center. I also told her that many of her son's classmates had a different religion than she did, therefore, I could not make the entire class say a prayer, but her son could on his own. The mother, now yelling, told me I was not respecting her beliefs and other nonsense.
The same mother told me her son should not be allowed to play outside in the basketball area because he hated sharing the basketballs. Unless he could have his own ball the entire recess time, he would not be allowed to play out there. Sharing the basketballs just stressed him out way too much.
The same parent also went to my administrator to report my weekend job. I was a ring card girl and other promo type things on the weekends. The mom saw me at a festival in my ring card outfit and decided that I was not fit to be a teacher. In the end, my administrator told the mom that what I did legally in my free time was none of the schools business."
"'My daughter is unique and special and gifted. She deserves a better grade in music.'
Sir, your daughter skipped 3 private lessons as well as her exam. She got exactly what she deserved. It's a good thing that she's extremely gifted and that ensemble also counts in the grade, because that 60% would have been a LOT lower."
"My brother and I teach ESL abroad. A few months ago, one of his student's parents called in a complaint about the color of our school buses (well, school vans - these kids ride silver and blue vans). Apparently, her son was unhappy about riding a 'FAKE SCHOOL BUS' and his mother was actually asking the school to purchase some new ones in mustard yellow."
"It's amazing I have only been teaching for one year out of college and I already have a story:
I teach an after school competitive marching band. There is a group of dancers that I teach for the production and performance. This group has a long history of being very competitive (they were defending regional champions). So, I am choreographing and going on my merry way when the director gets an email from a parent.
There are two kids in the band that are part of this family in question, and this family has a long history of NEVER paying their band dues. They owe the school thousands from the many years their older brothers and sisters have gone through the program without paying. Schools apparently can't send people to collections. Ugh. Dues are extremely reasonable, $300 or so, for several out-of-town trips and everything they need. PLUS, we greatly advertise our scholarship program, which this family is too lazy to take advantage of.
In the letter, this mother is trying to accuse me of hurting her daughter, saying that the show is 'very physical' (they're dancing on a field, so of course it is) and there were certain moves that she complained about, despite never coming to a rehearsal to watch. I would be more inclined to listen to her if she gave the program the funds it deserves, instead of acting like a complaining parasite.
I met with the vice principal to discuss the email. He could easily see that I was a rational, sane human being and this mother was not. I became personally offended at the fact that I had spent my whole life becoming a dance teacher, and she was trying to destroy it in my first year because of her stupidity and ignorance. But, I have to learn to not think of it that way.
I also saw the mother in JoAnn fabrics one afternoon on a school day WITH her son (my student) while I was buying costumes. Apparently, she pulls him out of school occasionally to mess around and hang out.
In the end, we had to kick the two out of the program right before championships for never putting up a dime. It hurt the rest of the group. I didn't like seeing these kids miss out because their mother can't figure it out, but the school forced me to keep them from performing unfortunately."