And teachers often have to deal with both in a very concentrated fashion. Unfortunately teachers tend to get the brunt of the blame, always. And user u/TheLegend1125 asked Reddit to share their own horror stories:
Teachers, what was the worst parent/teacher interview you've ever had to sit through?
Here were some of the craziest horror stories.
Pre-school teacher here. My first year as a lead teacher I had a student who bit, scratched, pulled hair, slapped and punched both students and teachers, including myself. Every day we were essentially beaten up by this 4 year old. Leading up to the conference my boss advised me to keep a log of everything this child was doing, each time he slapped or bit someone, each time he yelled out a cuss word, etc.
The entire conference was this child's mom going through my behaviour log of her child and laughing. She told me that he had never exhibited that kind of behaviour and was a perfect angel. She told me she had never even seen him angry. She laughed in our faces.
Minutes later, the child's grandmother, whom the parent and child lived with, called the school and told me all the things she knew her daughter wouldn't, which included the child giving the grandmother bruises, banging her head into her headboard, dropping books on her feet, biting, scratching, pulling, and punching both his mom and the grandmother.
I was senior management at a private school and we had some insane helicopter parents who insisted their 4 year old daughter was a genius. They wanted her fast tracked THREE grades ahead. Nobody could reason with them and they carried this big binder of 'tests' they'd paid for to prove their case. Now, she was a sweet kid but very shy and _seriously _afraid of failure. Huge red flags to be honest. They were at the point of suing us and I drew the short straw for talking them off the ledge. It was last day of the school year, my own kids were waiting for us to start the holidays (they went to the same school) and I was stuck for two hours with them, trying to persuade that them that they were damaging their child and that moving an already nervy little kid away from the few playmates she had would be catastrophic. I went through every test paper, used every tactic I could think of and eventually called the meeting to a close on an 'agree to disagree' basis - but refusing to move her higher up.
The next day, first day of the holidays, my Director got an entire transcript of the conversation which they'd secretly recorded and a demand to have me fired. They must have stayed up all night as it was before auto transcribe tech was available.
My Director called in the lawyers and I had to forward all the slanderous emails they kept sending me in case of court action. We had an internal tribunal with them when school opened after the holidays and they lost their case. We never saw them again as they moved out of the area. I often think about that little girl and hope she's doing ok. :(
I remember as a kid I went to a parent-teacher conference with my dad for my older brother. He went to a pretty bad high school in a rough area. So for one of the classes, the mother ahead of us goes with her son. Her son was this big, scary looking, gangster kid (this is the mid nineties in NYC). The teacher looks up at them and says, "I'm sorry I have no idea who he is. He's never shown up to class and cuts everyday."
The mom turns her head and looks at the son and I see him go from having this smug, nonchalant attitude to having the fear of God suddenly on his face. The mom takes an umbrella and starts beating the kid right in front of the teacher. The teacher gets immediately flustered, but has no idea what to do. The kid starts apologizing profusely to his mom and to the teacher. His mom then grabs him by the ear (she's at least a couple inches shorter than him) and drags him out of the classroom. The whole time the kid is just saying he's sorry.