Teachers already have to deal with multiple children on a daily basis. But having to deal with difficult parents? That’s a whole other ball game. Here, horrified teachers share the absolute worst parent they’ve ever encountered.
1. Parent and child had a complaint about grading on a minor assignment. Parent emailed me, the principal, Board of Education, and Barack Obama. No reply from anyone, except the principal.
2. I had a parent come in and yell yes, YELL at be because their student was doing poorly in my grade 10 biology class. This student never came to class and rarely handed in assignments. I had tried many many times to engage the student, but he just didn’t give a crap.
She told me I was “purposefully” failing him. Well, yes I was “purposefully” failing him. He did not work, so as much as I was “purposefully” failing him, he was “purposefully” failing himself.
3. I was a swim teacher for six years, and the parents are just the worst. The ones that really got me were the parents who insisted that their child was an Olympian mer-god who needed to be moved up several class levels. Usually these kids looked like they were struggling through molten lead the second they left the shallow end.
4. I had a 14-year-old student that was reading at a second grade level. I had him read aloud out of a 3rd grade literature book to me, in private, because he couldn’t be trusted to read it on his own and then we answered the questions together and he had to write out the answers. The whole time he would complain or just refuse to even do it.
His father called and complained to the vice principal that I had been too hard on his son and was “trying to fill his head with ideas.”
Sorry for trying to teach your kid how to read.
5. I once had a student hit me. I reported the student and they were suspended. Mom was adamant that I had made the whole thing up, even though it was witnessed and there was photographic documentation of the mark it left.
The next year, that student’s sibling was in my class. Mom had them removed after she found out because “this teacher has a clear vendetta against my children.” The sibling was really upset and tried to say that I was always nice and helpful, but mom wouldn’t listen. She thought I was just lulling the sibling into a false sense of security before striking.
6. My friend’s mother is an absolute disaster. I shared a class with her last year and always felt bad for my teacher.
If my friend didn’t do well on a test/lab, or if she forgot to turn homework in, the second that the teacher put the score in, my friends mom would see it since she had made it so she got email alerts for every time grades went in. She wouldn’t just check every so often, oh no, she needed to get notified every time there was the slightest change.
If it was a bad grade, she would not even ask my friend about it, she would immediately call or email the teacher yelling at her about such a low score.
7. I’m a band director.
Last week, we helped beginners select their instruments and hosted a band drive, for the parents to come buy the instruments. Uptight Mom came in with her son, who we had as playing trumpet, and was clearly upset. She said she didn’t want him playing an instrument “that loud” in her house, and then refused to listen when I discussed options for practicing with her.
He suggested the flute, and she immediately sniped back, “Absolutely not, that is a girl instrument!” I mentioned that many/most professional flutists are male and she responded, “You know, I’m old. You’re not going to change my mind. There are boy instruments and girl instruments.” Then she made the mistake of asking what instrument I played. I’m a percussionist. I’m a girl who plays a boy instrument.
Unfortunately, there are so many parents who bully their kids into playing an instrument they aren’t passionate about simply because of their gender.
8. Two parents come to my mind. One, a mom with a 15-year-old daughter who wanted me as her teacher to deal with the emotional troubles the kid had because her mother had left her for half a year to “have a real life” with her lover, and set some limits because she “does what she wants and never obeys me”. The lady refused to see her responsibility in this issues, and refused to seek for therapy for her family.
Second terrible mother is one who spoke about her kid… just not the one who was in my class “because she really is a weird girl, so I don’t want to waste my time on her”… she only spoke about this girl’s sister, and when I made her speak about the girl in my class, she described a completely different kid. She refused to see who her daughter is, what she wants or her abilities.
Almost forgot the mom who kicked her child out of her home to focus in her younger child… because obviously the older one was a “lost cause.”
9. My sister-in-law is a pre-school teacher. She had these adorable little twin girls in her class. They were very sweet but came from a bad home environment. They had pretty long blonde hair but they were always getting head lice.
One day they came to school both crawling with lice, so the teachers had no choice but to call the father to come take them home and treat the lice. The father got angry, tried to argue that it was the school’s responsibility, but the teachers held firm. So the father came to school and took the little girls home. Twenty minutes later he returned, having shaved both the little girls’ beautiful hair right off, and left them there for the remainder of the school day.
10. We have a lot of entitled parents. One little girl was a bit spoiled and tried to boss the other girls around. The other girls didn’t take kindly to this and after a while they all played together and excluded her.
Her mother came to school and threatened to have them killed if they kept ignoring her daughter.
11. My mom teaches second grade. The school she teaches at uses MacBooks and iPads rather than windows devices. Actual e-mail she forwarded to me:
“Dear Mrs., I’m sending a WINDOWS laptop that I personally configured to school with my daughter. I will not have my daughter being taught to use an Apple product. I work for a major computer technician company, and I can personally attest to the fact that everything Apple makes is pure garbage. You’re hurting the students more than helping them, as every major company uses Windows software. I am also going to be filing a complaint with the school board. I know this is not your fault personally, but I know there is something you could do to stop it.”
12. I had a mother complain that I didn’t give enough homework, even though I was giving her kid, after a special request, extra homework. The kid in question, however, never did any of his homework.
13. I once had a parent accuse me of inappropriately touching her son because he stole an origami book from my class. He admitted stealing the book. However, his mother could not come to terms with her son’s behavior. She repeatedly shouted, “My son is not a thief!”
The next day I get a phone call from my administrator. She tells me that the mother came in to report inappropriate touching of her son. Specifically, caressing his hands, head, and body at my desk in front of the whole class. Obviously, this was untrue. I asked the admin to get a statement from the child. Thankfully, his mother hadn’t corrupted him. The student wrote that I had never touched him.
14. My high school theater director once worked with one of his students to get him to stop smoking weed and then the mother came up to the school all pissed off.
She said he didn’t have the right to tell him to stop because if her son stopped, she wouldn’t know where to get her weed anymore.
15. Ok, not a teacher here but I tutor young kids at a centre in a rich suburb. I want you to picture these pushy parents, and then collate them in one spot. BAM. You have my place of work. Now every week I would tutor this child, lets call him Colin. He was a good kid, sometimes a bit slow at doing work but we got through it.
About 2 hours after every session his mum would call and complain. Telling us he had not done enough work or then the next week call and say we had overworked him and that he was overtired when he returned.
This all accumulated to the mother wanting to pull him out and on his last session, the owner had a chat to Colin and asked him if he liked it at tutoring, he responded that he loved it and it was the best part of his week.
I’ll never forget his sad little face as he left.
16. I had a ‘pray-away-the-gay’ pair of parents who thought that the school was ‘teaching their child to be gay’ because some of our teachers were homosexual. They also thought I was deeply religious (because they wanted to believe it) and therefore ‘on their side’. Wrong on both counts. They jumped to the conclusion after I said that I thought it was important that parents instil a strong moral code in their children. I left off that their bullshit beliefs do not make a strong moral code.
Their son talked to me about ‘alternative’ sexuality; I told him that he was a great kid, and was on track to becoming a great adult, and that who he fell in love with was his business and only his. He wisely did not share his feelings/ideas with his parents.
17. You know the stories about parents trying to get into job interviews? It’s even better when they try to get onto campus to take a test with their student. Near the end of last school year, there was a random parent who was so desperate to help her daughter pass that the office ended up needing to call in an officer to literally escort the mom off of campus in and had to threaten handcuffs and an arrest when she refused to leave. The final result was a restraining order against her from the district.
18. One time a parent called, demanding to speak to her daughter. I explained that her daughter was in class and could only be pulled out of class if it was an emergency. The parent, started yelling that this was an emergency, and to hurry up and get her daughter on the line NOW.
I told the mom no problem, I will call the daughter up to the office and have her call the mom back within 5 minutes. The girl came to the office, called mom, spoke quietly for 30 seconds, then hung up and asked to go back to class. At this point, highly suspicious, I HAD to know what the “emergency” was. I asked her if everything was ok. She said, “Yes, my mom just wanted to know where I had left the brush this morning.”
I asked her if she maybe brought the brush to school by accident? She said no, she had left it on that bathroom counter…where she always does every morning.
19. For a while I worked as a horseback riding instructor teaching beginning lessons. Our students were usually aged 6-10. While the nervous parents could be annoying (but understandable), the worst were the parents that were reliving old riding careers through their children.
One woman rode competitively when she was growing up and insisted that her seven year old son rode as well. He didn’t enjoy riding much and whispered to me that he would rather play baseball. He was also incredibly allergic to horses – his eyes would swell up, his nose would run, and he was miserable. After a few lessons and realizing the problem, we told the woman that we weren’t willing to make her child so uncomfortable.
20. I had a student who we were 90% sure was taking things from other students lockers. We later confirmed with the lower elementary teacher that this had been an issue previously. Now 99%.
I conveyed to the student that she had a lot of time unaccounted for outside of the classroom. I told her that things have been going missing and that she was the only student that had time unaccounted for, so she needs to make sure shes not outside without using a pass and for no good reason. Her father shows up two mornings later to berate me for accusing his daughter of stealing things. I explained that I was asking for his daughter to account for her time in the future. The kicker is he knew about the stealing from lower grades and still confronted me.
21. Preschool teacher.
Being non-medically certified, the only “first aid” I and my two co-teachers could technically administer was soap, water, and your basic band-aid or gauze and tape (or CPR/AED if necessary, which it never was, thank God).
We had a child whose parent worked in a nearby office building, and she wanted to be called every single time her little angel got a boo-boo. Apparently, our band-aids weren’t good enough and she needed to come put one on herself.
22. I used to be an assistant teacher at a daycare. I am a guy. This one parent made it very clear that this was not a mans workplace. She would give gifts at the end of the year and would give me things like handbag holders and lipstick with a smirk on her face (she wrote my name on them and made it clear it was no mistake).
I didn’t give a crap either way.
23. A friend of my mom’s who is a teacher had a real charmer. Apparently the teacher believed that this man’s child had some form of learning disorder. She attempted to bring this up in a parent-teacher meeting, suggesting that he get his child assessed so they could get help.
She starts talking and as soon as she mentions her concerns, the man leans across the table and goes “shh!” and waves his finger in her face. She attempts to continue again: “Shh!” So she said, My concerns will be in the report card, this meeting is over” and she left. The “shh!” thing actually became an in joke at the school where this took place.
24. “Please postpone today’s test. My son left his backpack at school yesterday so he couldn’t study.”
“DO NOT EVER WRITE DOWN MY SON’S NAME AS CHRIS M. JUST BECAUSE ANOTHER STUDENT HAS HIS SAME FIRST NAME. HE IS RECEIVING UNEQUAL TREATMENT BECAUSE YOU ARE ADDRESSING HIM BY HIS FIRST NAME AND FIRST LETTER OF LAST NAME. THIS IS DEEPLY UNFAIR AND I WILL BE TALKING TO YOUR PRINCIPAL.”
25. Had a fun class and there was one joker kid who was asking questions about stuff that was coming up in the next chapter. I answered his question telling him to keep if in mind for the next chapter.
A week or two later we get to that chapter. He mentions that he knows it so I think it would be funny if he taught it using my slides while I sat in his chair and pretended to be a student. The kids thought it was great. He did a pretty good too. When he made a mistake I’d pretend to ask a question with the correction built in. Everyone had a great time and seemed to learn a lot.
Next week the kids parent come in and accuse me of picking on him and trying to embarrass him. At no point did they think to ask him if he had been embarrassed. They had tried to make an appointment with my principal to throw me under the bus without even talking to me. Luckily he was awesome and just told them to go talk to me.
Just goes to show you don’t know what your students are telling their parents and even if it’s the truth, how parents are interpreting it.
I feel bad for the kid cause he and I got along so great before that incident, but I wouldn’t think of kidding around with him after that.
26. This happened to my mom while she was a director in a big school. She called parent of a kid to tell them their son was caught smoking weed in school. Parents then start ranting about how weed isn’t as bad as alcohol and how everyone should stop drinking and start smoking weed instead.
27. Me: You are failing my class and this is middle of the semester, we need to figure something out or you’re not going to pass my class.
Student: ………shrugs shoulders OK………. Then he left.
A week later I get called in by the Dean. The student’s mother called and complained that her son was failing because I was terrible at my job. No specifics, just ranting. I let the Dean know the student hadn’t turned in any of his HW, didn’t participate in class, didn’t attend any of my review sessions and when I tried to reach out to him, he was very apathetic. He stayed in the class, no improvement, no effort. However, the Dean got a call after every test, and I had to hear about it all over again.
28. I had this complete nightmare of a student, never did her homework and she never studied and she did terribly on tests. One day after class, I had a meeting scheduled with her parents to talk about her current F in the class and the possibility of her repeating the course.
When the parents got here they proceeded to yell at me and make threats to what they would do if their daughter didn’t pass the class. They told me I obviously was singling their daughter out and she was doing badly because of me.
29. I currently have a parent that is 55 years old with a 6-year-old son. (I thought it wasn’t possible, either) She isn’t married and doesn’t work. She has no other kids, so this boy is her UNIVERSE. He has special needs, so she has become a self taught expert on childhood developmental disorders.
She stays in my classroom all day and interrupts my instruction if she feels its not suited to her child. I get daily emails (that are cc’d to my principal, superintendent and resource department head) telling me what I did “wrong” that day and how to improve my teaching methods.
She also believes that her sons needs trump the needs of every other student in my class. When I informed her that her son had to be removed from the classroom during one of his many emotional outbursts because it was a disruption to his classmates, her response was, “He has a right to be in this class! I don’t care about those other kids!”
She recently contacted the district office to file an official complaint about me. Why? Because I wouldn’t allow her son to go into the girls bathroom. According to her, he’s six and curious and has every right to “satisfy his curiosity.” When she was told that the female students had a right to privacy, she said…. Wait for it….
“I don’t care about those other kids!”
30. One time a child peed all over the bathroom in the school. When we brought it up with the parent, they demanded to know why we didn’t teach them how to properly use the bathroom.
31. Historically our district had trouble getting parents to give consent to sex education for their children, so our district instituted a policy of “implied consent.” You know that big packet of papers that all the kids get on the first day of school? In it was one paper that pretty much said: “Your kid needs to take sex ed this year. If we don’t hear back from you, we take it that you’ve given us your consent.” I can’t recall a single situation where we’ve had a parent write us a note or call us after receiving this notification in the beginning of the year.
As a courtesy to the parents (I don’t have to do this, since we already notified the parents in the beginning of the year with that big packet), I tell the kids to let them know that we’re about to start sex ed. Usually this passes with no incidents. Until this one year….
One of my favorite students came into class and had a mischievous smile on her face as she handed me a note from her father. In it, I was called a “pervert that shouldn’t be hanging around teenage girls” and how he’d “kick my [butt]if his daughter stayed in the classroom during that week. Part of me laughed because the choice of words sounded like a note that I’d confiscate from the students, but I admit that part of me was a bit concerned since this very imposing (and very large!) military man wanted to meet with this skinny young male teacher.
I ended up having a meeting with the father and the principal and received an apology and a firm handshake from him. It’s probably the only time I’ve ever been physically threatened by a parent.