Teachers deal with A LOT every day. Putting in enormous hours for little pay, they are often rewarded with having to deal with horrible little children and, even worse, their parents. Read the stories below to hear about teachers' worst experiences with childrens' parents.
"I'm an elementary teacher. We had a student who wouldn't stop stealing things out of other kids' backpacks. We had caught him on camera and would call the parents, and they would just say 'no, that's his insert stolen item, we just bought it for him.' Then, we put him on a positive behavior plan and create intentional lessons about empathy to others, setting goals to get what you want, the difference between wants/needs etc. Eventually, he gets enough positive days in a row that he gets released from the behavior plan and receives a free bike as his incentive for good behavior (they were donated to the school by a local bike shop). The next day he tells me his uncle stole it and pawned it. He went right back to his old behaviors and it was heartbreaking."
"I was a camp counselor and I had a girl in my cabin with issues. She was attention seeking, kind of a mean girl, and generally wasn't liked by a lot of the camp. I honestly didn't give her a lot of 1 on 1 attention, which is something I deeply regret in retrospect. This was a sleepover camp. Her session was 2 weeks and her parents had elected for her to take the bus back into town and they'd pick her up. The bus arrived early but plenty of parents showed up early since they were so excited to see their kids. As we got closer to original pickup time, the crowd dwindled until there were just a few left. A staff member asked which kids still there so they could make phone calls to their parents. All but one were in traffic and on their way. That one was for my troubled camper. Her parents said no. They said they had two more days of freedom, they wouldn't take her, and said we needed to put up with her for a couple more days. They each said this individually and hung up. Neither responded to follow-up calls. I thought maybe they got the date wrong and thought it was Sunday. However, once they spoke to the woman who called them, she made them very aware that this was pickup day and time. They didn't care and refused to come get her. Sometimes parents forgot, were late, or had to send friends or family in their stead, but no one had just refused to have anything to do with their child for days. Eventually the staff told me to go home and they were left to figure that one out. My parents always hated me, but this was shocking to me, that someone's parents would absolutely refuse to pick up their 12-year-old daughter."
"I used be an educational facilitator at a science center. During the school year I would be the liaison for school trips, during the summer I would run the summer camps.
Parents used to like to plunk their kids in science camp because it is educational. We had a pile of hands on programming. I have to say, it was pretty fun! Fun unless your kid aggressively hates science and you are forcing them to be there.
Enter Jason. Jason was a horrible kid on day one. We welcome them to camp by making liquid nitrogen ice cream. Jason didn't give a crap. He refused to eat 'stupid nerd ice cream.' Throughout the day his attitude got worse. He refused to participate, called the other kids 'nerds' and 'losers...' he was an all around pain in the butt. At pick up, I pulled his mother aside and said 'I don't think Jason really wants to be here, we can arrange for a refund or see if we can transfer him to another program he will find more to his liking.'
His mother replied 'It's your job to make him want to be here, clearly you suck at it.'
Day two. Jason shows up with an even bigger chip on his shoulder. The day's activity was engineering! Fort Building! Every kid loves a good fort. Except Jason.
Jason picked up one of the plastic tubes and cracked a kid across the back of the leg with it. As I run over to tend to his victim, Jason cracks me across the side of the head with the tube with all his might, breaking my glasses and giving me a decent bruise across the side of the face.
It takes two of us to disarm Jason and separate him from the group. We pull him into the admin office and call his parents to come now. He is no longer welcome. We couldn't press charges, because this camp was for 6-8 year old. Jason was a fairly young child at the time.
His mother shows up a good 3 hours later, absolutely livid. Not about Jason's behavior. Not in the least. There was no apology or understanding. Instead, as we ejected her son from camp, she turned to us as said 'I hope you all get cancer.'"
"I had a student who repeatedly lied about assignments, saying he’d turned them in and his teachers had lost them. As a team with an administrator present, we conference with mom who deflected and provided excuses that he just 'doesn’t like school,' and, 'if my son says he did something, he did it. We value integrity in our family.'
Three months later some friends of mine invited me to a bar a few towns away to see a band perform. Near the end of the night, I ran into the mom who is out on a date with a man who isn’t her husband. From that point on, she wouldn’t return any of my emails or calls about the son’s behavior."
"I worked as a camp counselor. We had an 8-year-old who managed to poop his pants about 4 times in 2 months. We'd tell the mother, who just waved it off saying that he was just 'too lazy' to go to the bathroom and that he always did that. Regular 8-year-olds do not routinely poop their pants but okay Karen."
"When I was still a student teacher, I was asked by my cooperating teacher to sit in on parent-teacher interviews. The first parent scheduled for that night was the parent of a student who was completely tuned out in my class (usually always sleeping, never does any work, never did well on tests or assignments, the usual suspects). The student was also often caught on his phone in class watching streams on Twitch with the volume on and complaining when his phone would get confiscated.
My cooperating teacher tells this parent all of our concerns in the nicest and most polite way possible, going as far as beginning to suggest homework management solutions, study tips, and even formulate a plan of action for the student so that his grades could improve come next term.
Now, if I asked you to go and look up the definition of disconnected in the dictionary, you would find a picture of this woman.
Everything my cooperating teacher said, all her concerns, her suggestions, her plans of action for this student, went in one ear and straight out the other.
When the teacher finished voicing her concerns/suggestions, I kid you not, this woman blinks (like one of those I have no idea what you just said kind of blinks), pauses for about five whole seconds, then replies with, 'How many students are in this class?' My eyes immediately bulged out of my head at that response. This wasn't a classroom size problem. This was a 'your child puts in 0 effort' problem. Still, the teacher politely replies with 26, relatively small for a school of more than 1700 students. The woman stood up from her seat so violently that the teacher flinched, and proceeded to storm out of the room mumbling 'Too many. Class is too big. Too many kids. Too many.'
My cooperating teacher and I were both speechless.
It turns out that she went straight to the principal's office right after the interview and began to complain to her about the class size and how it was hurting her son's education. When the principal said that there wasn't much she could do about the situation, the parent began to complain about how I, the student teacher, obviously didn't know what I was doing for her kid to be failing, and that the full time teacher should teach the class alone. Thankfully the principal backed me up, but I still couldn't believe what an airhead this parent was."
"I had a student many years ago, we'll call him M. He was a sweetheart in the classroom, never argued back, did as he was told, was engaged and interesting. But, outside of class, he wasn't allowed to be around other students. He had to be led from class to class because he would start a fight EVERY time, and I mean that. I could not wrap my head around it, until Parents Evening. His Dad was a hulk of a man, mother was sadly deceased. He was clearly abusive. He kept his hand on the back of M's neck, leading him around like that. M looked like he was going to his own execution. Was told later that authorities were involved, but M lashes out all the time because it was the only time he felt he had some control. Would never talk back to an adult because he was just super scared of us all. He didn't make it the year before he disappeared, but I still think about him."
"Early in my career I was the poor sap that got roped into doing home visits to work with parents that couldn't meet in school. I had a 6th grade child with extreme behavioral disturbances. Would make moaning sounds in class to upset other students, told one of my colleagues he'd 'slap the black out of her.'
I pull up to the apartment complex and start looking for the right unit. I'm suddenly distracted by very obscene, very loud moaning above me.
I see the child's mother and not the father very naked, doing it out on their deck, standing to the open rest of the apartment complex. Dad was listed to live at that same address. I decide I want absolutely nothing to do with this situation, and as I'm putting my car in reverse, a utility truck flies in behind me and parks across two spaces. Guy gets out and yells up at the woman, 'Woman I told you I'd beat the life out of ya if you din' stop bangin. Starts throwing screwdrivers and wrenches up at them.
I noped out of there so freaking fast. Afterwards I had much more empathy for the kid - he grew up in an atmosphere so unbelievably messed up I had never conceived it could actually exist."
"I had a high school student with very high anxiety. She was high performing, academically as well as in music and sports.
She came late to class, so I gave her a late slip. These are basically meaningless and the student writes their reason for being late. As a teacher, I would apply all rules uniformly. So, I gave her the late slip. She burst into tears and left my class.
Her mum turns up. Starts yelling at me about how unfair it is that I don’t cut her a break because she is so stressed and doing a full course load, music, dance, sports, and so forth....
Erm. She’s stressed because she’s over-extended. She’s a wonderful kid, and she’s just being asked to write down why she’s late.
This poor kid - her mother put so much pressure on her to have top grades, she ended up just losing it over a late slip.
Being yelled at is quite confronting. The parent stood over me and just screamed. My heart was racing, it was a bit terrifying really."
"Let’s call this student Amy. Kinda quiet. Kind of quirky. Enter: Mom
1) Hit a teacher with her car. The youngest daughter darted out in front of the car to get in the other side (against protocol). Supervising teacher literally jumps into action and put a hand out yelling, 'Stop!' Car hits hand. Driver drives away. Hospital visit required and police called.
2) Parent signs up to read to the class. She chooses a book called That’s Disgusting. Pretty run-of-the-mill call and answer stuff. Pick your nose? THAT'S DISGUSTING! Forget to wash your hands? THAT'S DISGUSTING? Until she got to... put your finger in the cats behind? THAT'S... pardon? That’s not a thing. Please stop introducing the idea to these eight year olds that putting your finger in a cats behind is a thing.
3) Amy’s mom wants to check in on Amy, so she peeks through the hallway window during class. A student raises his hand and says Amy’s mom is staring at us. I turn to look. Mom ducks. I walk to the hallway door and open it. Mom remains ducked. We have a two-minute conversation with mom ducked on the ground about when it is appropriate for parents to be on campus."
"One of the kids at my high school was the world's biggest jerk. He would find something wrong with everyone and bully them about it until he found another thing wrong with them. He picked on me because I had muscley arms (I'm a girl) and told me that I'll never be in a happy relationship because I look so disgusting. I'd had enough of his crap so I went to a teacher and told them.
Skip forward a couple of days and me and a bunch of other kids he bullied were called into the office to tell our stories. He was there too and when the teacher gave him his consequence he said 'you can't punish me I'm gay.' He's been using this excuse since he came out in 2014. In no way am I homophobic but he just uses the 'I'm gay' card anytime he gets in trouble. He still gets in trouble and he has a meltdown and calls his mum saying the school's homophobic.
Mum comes in and punches the principle so hard she loses a tooth and gets a black eye and hurled abuse at her. Police are called and she isn't allowed back on school grounds unless it's a school event. I still wonder where he got his temper from..."
"After I graduated high school I heard that one of the best teachers I ever had ended up quitting. He was absolutely fantastic and just a very genuine human being; everyone loved him even if they hated the class. Well, the class behind me absolutely broke him.
I remember being a senior and watching the man become a hollow shell. At the end of that year, he ended up failing a girl because she never did her work, never tried, just kind of totally turned off even with extensions and help, and constantly gave him crap. When the mom came to talk to him, she went OFF. Accused him being prejudiced, doing it because he just didn't like her daughter, blah, blah, blah. She ends up suing both him AND the school and he quit as a result."
"I once had a student who thought I should drop whatever I was doing and help him immediately any time he asked a question. One time, I was working with another student and this kid yells across the room that he needed help. I told him I would help him when I was done and to please raise his hand next time.
Apparently, this set the kid off because he went on a loud tirade about how I was racist for not helping him. Never mind the fact that the student I was helping, who he wanted me to abandon, was the same race as him. I ended up kicking him out of class after he went on and on about it for awhile, which he said only confirmed my racism. Everyone else in the room just kind of stared at him as he left. He got suspended from my class for a couple days, which meant I needed to inform his family.
I never actually spoke to his mother, because his aunt was listed as a contact about any incidents. Turns out he and his mother were living with the aunt at the time. But the aunt explained to me that he had learned this behavior from his mother, who demonstrated this behavior any time she felt she was wronged. The aunt said she was trying to fix her nephews attitude and promised me that it didn’t matter if her sister thought it was fine to teach her son to act that way, because it wasn’t going to happen again while they lived in her house. And you know? She was successful. The kid never pulled that crap again, at least not in my classroom."
"I'm a middle school teacher. Students were able to attend a trampoline park as a field trip to award good attendance. While there, one student had stolen a rubber bracelet. Not a big deal but still stole it, so the principal contacted the father.
The father called back and left a voicemail basically accusing the principal and the rest of the staff of thievery as well saying 'How many pens do you walk out of that school with? How many pens purchased by the school do you walk out with every day? My tax money!'
Anyone who is a teacher sees how funny this is because, of course, we’re providing our own pens!"
"I got a phone call from a parent basically saying that a few other children had beaten up their child, so the following day we take aside that child, then all the other children (in the end turns out there were 9 other children involved) and it turns out to be the complete truth. The children had been arguing about a video game (they're 10) and this one child had a different opinion to the others, so they push him to the ground and while he's curled up on the floor, they start kicking him.
My head teacher contacts the parents of the children involved to let them know and explain the punishment. Fast forward to the next day when one of the parents comes into school and starts shouting at their child in front of his whole class and teacher, asking him why the heck he admitted to doing it, what was the matter with him and how he was stupid for doing so, before taking him and his two siblings out of the school. This child was one of the ones who admitted straight away to doing it and had burst straight into tears and was clearly feeling guilty."
"I had a student last year who was new to the school. Really nice, friendly, shy and hilariously absent minded. He would come to school at least 2 days a week with either his shirt on backwards, inside out or both.
So I wanted to talk to his parents about how his absent mindedness was affecting his learning. Mom shows up at 5. Dad shows up 1hr late. We have a good chat and they get up to go. As I'm walking them out I said I will show you the shortest way to the parking lot.
The dad replies with, 'I didn't park in the parking lot' so I said 'You can go the same way to the street.' He said 'I couldn't find the parking entrance so I just drove around and parked on asphalt play area.' Sure enough I walk by and his car is next to the play ground.
So it all came together after that."
"I'm a high school teacher, and we have something called Soft Lockdowns (known as Shelter in Place by some schools) where doors are shut and locked but classes continue as normal. These are pretty common and can be used for anything from a medical emergency (want everyone out of the hallway if someone needs to be cared for, because high schoolers are nosy) to a fugitive running around the neighborhood.
We've been in many soft lockdowns because parents have come to the school ready to hunt down and beat the crap out of a teacher. They usually come in the front office (can't access the rest of the school without someone opening the secured door) screaming, cussing, threatening everyone in the area, you get the picture. Often, they're removed by the SRO and given a criminal trespass citation.
We have a pretty high rate of fights and violence between students. When I see parents acting this way, it all make sense.
I dread phone calls home for this reason.
Thankfully, we have admin that believe we are humans and make it clear that we don’t need to put up with being cussed out or threatened. If a parent is belligerent, all I have to do is tell them they can speak to me with respect or we’ll end the conversation. Then, I am free to hang up if they keep it up. At that point, they’re invited to a face-to-face conference that will include admin and sometimes the SRO if we feel it’s needed. Supportive admin hasn’t always been a thing at the school, and it makes the biggest difference."
"I volunteered in a primary school for a year. There was this one kid (8yrs old) that was basically broken. He had no emotional control, no empathy. He'd punch a kid, get punched in return, and then complain that it wasn't his fault. Except that he didn't complain because he was so full of anger he couldn't even explain himself.
He'd constantly run out of the classroom screaming because he was frustrated that he was unable to solve a question.
He told me one day he's come to school with an ax and hack off one kids head because he called him names.
He was bullied a bit because of his weird behavior. I felt really bad for this kid.
Well, I wasn't present when his mom came to school to talk about him, but I heard all about it. When she was told how her kid reacted and behaved in class and recess she flipped out, screamed from the top of her lungs, and drove off.
I don't know if this is just adapted behavior or if it's genetics with a history of mental problems, but the kid was really damaged and we all felt really sorry for him.
Luckily we had a counselor working at that school who was trained in these scenarios. She was able to work with him, and over time the outbursts lessened."