Teachers have a tough job that only gets tougher upon meeting a weirdo parent.
Redditor caddingtontv provided today's burning question. They asked the online community: "Teachers of reddit, what is the craziest thing you've seen a parent do?"
Yikes. That's what we have to say to some of these stories.
"Her daughter's voice..."Giphy
A mother threatened to yank her daughter out of the school if she didn't get chosen as vocal soloist to sing "O, Holy Night" during the holiday concert.
Her daughter's voice was not suited to the part. Moreover, she had told both faculty and her peers that she didn't want to do it - that her mother was forcing the issue.
As I described here quite some time ago, the mother made a big, embarrassing scene in front of students and faculty - eventually transferring her daughter to another school "where she could get the recognition she so richly deserved."
"She was screaming and yelling at me..."
One day I was reading to my class when a mom, who we all knew was a little bit of a problem, came in enraged. She was screaming and yelling at me while I just continued to act calm and smile at the kids, trying to keep them from freaking out.
She was yelling because when her son came home the day before, he had an ant bite and he's allergic. She was yelling about how there shouldn't be any ants on the playground (in our state, that's impossible). She was also yelling that I didn't go inspect the playground prior to recess for ant piles. She was also yelling that I didn't inspect every kids for any ant bites they may have gotten and called any parents of effected kids. She mentioned, in them middle of her rage, almost in passing, that the ant bite was on his penis. It ended with her threatening me with physical harm.
Basically, since I just ignored her, continuing to interact with the kids, she eventually stormed out. Shortly after, my principal arrived, out of breath after running. Apparently a teacher down the hall heard her and called him before I got a chance to. I told him what happened, he said that he'll never let her be alone with me again. He's a BIG guy and a Marine, and I'm a small woman, so that was great.
About 30 minutes later an announcement was made that the playground was shut down for the day, possibly week.
Come to find out that she took it upon herself to "take care of the problem." She went home, loaded her truck with her strongest pesticide, and came back to the playground and sprayed it down. Unfortunately, the stuff she used was not appropriate, so we had to pay a lab to test the dirt to make sure it was safe. The playground opened up the next week.
"I started locking my classrooms..."
I had a new class filled with 3-4 year olds. This one younger girl was quite quiet throughout the lessons but generally not bad for her first lesson with a new teacher. Half way through the class her parent came into class a smacked her around the back of the head because she wasn't speaking enough.
I started locking my classrooms from that point onward.
"I once had a bright..."
I once had a bright, junior student who I recommended for AP English. He was proficient and well spoken--he would have done great, but he declined because he wanted to focus on trades and sports. I understood and told him the offer still stands if he wants to reconsider.
A few days later, I get the signed consent form with his signature on it in my mailbox about him joining AP English. Great, I thought. I went to talk to him about it and he looked nothing but confused. I showed him the page and he just went
"Oh, yeah, no. Ignore it. My mom keeps trying to sign me up for stuff. She has a stamp of my signature."
"She was so nasty..."
I had a parent come in and scream at the childcare assistant because her son came home with mosquito bites. She was so nasty that she made her cry. She wanted us to solve the problem by making sure her son didn't sleep near the windows.
I teach inner city preschool. Many of my students have learned to fight through their parents and one student recently bit and hit me to the point of bleeding and bruising. I'm not technically allowed to restrain so I just hugged him, told him I care about him, he cried, and now he's my best bud.
"Honestly, our assistant principal..."
Countless verbal assaults at me, but those are not as interesting.
I saw a parent attack our assistant principal. I mean physically grabbing him and pushing him up against a fence(this was at a football game). Police arrived, parent taken away and permanently banned from our campus. Honestly, our assistant principal is a big and tall guy, but this was out of nowhere. I assume the parent was drunk/high.
"Wonder where they got it from?!"Giphy
A few weeks ago a mother was screaming "I'm going to slap you in the f---ing face", as someone dared to let her know her children were bullying others. Wonder where they got it from?! Luckily, she's banned from the building finally.
"The mother of my best student came."
Teacher in France here. Craziest thing a parent ever done to me was during a parent (& student most of the time)-teacher meeting. Idk how they're organized in other countries, but in France you have to meet like hundreds of parents on the same day, so you usually don't spend too much time with them, especially if their kid has really good grades.
The mother of my best student came. I had a huge smile when I saw her entering the classroom, because she was obviously very proud of her mom meeting me: she had a perfect GPA (20/20) in my subject. I honestly thought this was going to be a "well hello Miss X, I've got nothing to say, I'm just happy to have your daughter in my class, you can leave if you have somewhere else to be" conversation, but her mother obviously misinterpreted my smile and started flirting with me.
The first thing she said roughly was "ah, I understand why my daughter is so interested in your classes" and then she started talking about me, asking questions about me and my life, etc. Her daughter was mortified (and I was, too: it was my first year as a real teacher, meaning I had never dealt with parents before and didn't how to kindly ask her to leave). It lasted a long 20-25 minutes before her daughter convinced her to go and freed me from what was my cringiest moment with a parent.
I've been a real teacher for only two years (three if you count the first year where you're sort of an intern) so that's probably tame compared to other answers, but I can assure you that was an intense moment
"I had a parent demand..."
I had a parent demand I reprimand a teacher because she lied to the class. The lie? Their child wet herself and when the teacher sent for the janitor she told him that someone had spilled their juice. This was done so the other kids didn't find out about the soggy pupil.
So I asked: "You want me to discipline an educator for protecting your child's dignity?" "Yes," was the reply.
"The mom drunk texted..."
Teacher & I coached cheer for a few years. Parents pulled their daughter off the squad before we got uniforms, and the assistant principal told me not to give her the uniform because then she'd wear it and people would still think she was a cheerleader. The Mom drunk texted me all night sh!t talking me about what a loser I was and how I was a terrible cheer coach anyway. I quit at the end of that season.
"I don't know where that kid is now."
There is one kid that never passed his tests. Never worked for it. Didn't do homework, didn't do anything. Just sat back because his father was rich and he will get all the inheritance.
One time I was called into a meeting because I was responsible for this kid's homework that he told me that he did but he never did. I sat down one seat from the head of the table. It was a pretty big meeting.
The father and the son sat at the other end. The principal pulls up a slide on the SmartBoard, showing the poor performance that he has done. 50% were marked across and no homework was done. I was dumbfounded.
The father raised an eyebrow and nodded towards his son when asked to explain his poor performance.
I took a sip of water and he said "my homeroom teacher's butt is too big. I can't focus on the class."
I swear to God, and I'm going to hell for this, I spat out all my water and laughed. Nobody cared. Everyone was so surprised. I looked at the homeroom teacher and I felt the guilt wash over me.
After the meeting, the lady cried. She wanted to quit as a teacher, and I didn't blame her. She eventually began wearing longer jackets to cover up her butt. I told the teacher that I couldn't teach that kid anymore.
I don't know where that kid is now. Hopefully he got what he deserved.
One of my coworkers had a parent cast a spell on her. That parent was later banned from visiting campus.
"Having a normal conversation..."
Having a normal conversation with student's guardian who is her grandmother, when the woman reaches down to the floor, picks up a leaf, and eats it like it's a potato chip.
"We had to have a long talk with her."
I had a parent in an IEP meeting ask us when her child's autism would be cured. She said he had been at school for 10 years now and it's taking too long. We had to have a long talk with her.
I had a parent at a conference suddenly slap his child HARD on the leg because she wasn't cooperating with him. She was 13 and definitely has one hell of an attitude, but she had issues with her dad and didn't want him there at all. Her resentment was palpable every time he opened his mouth.
When he slapped her she got really upset, jumping up and trying to get away from him screaming he had hit her for no reason. He's grabbing her arm to pull her back and she's fighting harder to get away. He appeals to me like I'm going to jump on board and I calm her down a little and get her to sit down. She's calming down and getting back a conversation but he is not even noticing that this is already deescalating, and he takes off his belt. He took off his belt, in front of me, to whip her. I told him that absolutely would not be happening in my classroom and I could not allow that, and he basically told me I should ignore him and pretend not to see anything. When I shot that down he tried to convince me to LEAVE my classroom DURING THE MIDDLE OF PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES so he could use it to hit her and I would "look the other way". I said that absolutely would not be happening and if he kept trying I would have to call security. He settled down and put his belt back on.
I went to the principal immediately, and we went to the guidance counselor. He is the one we go through to make reports because he has all the information about what can be reported and who to contact. He told us we couldn't report it because it was discipline and it's his right to discipline her that way if he wants to as long as she isn't injured and there are no marks. He said it was not even illegal for him to do it on the premises.
The same night, another teacher had a mother punch her son in the face suddenly.
F*cking nuts. Poor kids.
"I saw a dad's ballsack..."
I saw a dad's ballsack during a parent-teacher interview.
He was wearing coveralls with a giant rip in the crotch and nothing underneath, and he was sitting with his foot up on the opposite knee (providing a very obvious viewing angle).
Considering how his child was, I am 95% sure he did it on purpose.
"Had a parent..."
Had a parent who really liked me because her daughter liked me. During the first parent conference, she asked a few personal questions (my age and dating status) and was shocked to hear I was a teacher at the age of 24 and yet I wasn't married (This is in SEA and culturally people marry quite early.) I told her I was in a LTR+LDR of about 3 years and she was even more shocked he hadn't proposed yet. Told me my boyfriend was no good and I should drop him.
Over the next parent teacher conferences, (I taught her daughter the following year too), the mother would bring a different man (family friend or whoever) and what was supposed to be a discussion of the student turned into an interview for dating. She would claim she doesn't speak enough English and that the person was there to help her out. It was quite awkward and I didn't know what to do about it so I just tried to shift the conversation back to her daughter (who was excelling my class anyways.)
I was later told that the mother comes from an extremely wealthy family and she is so so so so bored at home (husband didn't want her to work) and enjoys matchmaking.
"He has also offered..."
My first year I had a parent text me trying to convince me to buy drugs from her. That was a fun time.
This year, I have the daughter of a moderately well-known rapper who, instead of sending his kid to school with treats for school parties sends "exclusive demos" of his new music. He has also offered to hook me up with drugs.
"She had the projects..."
A member of my teaching team had her kids do a pretty cool project. As with most projects, some kids put in a lot more effort than others.
She had the projects on display in her room. At the end of a class period, she noticed a very nice one had been vandalized and ruined.
She asked the class who did it. One student calmly raised his hand and admitted it. She talked to him, and he wouldn't really say what possessed him to do it.
She wrote him up and emailed the parents. They were livid and demanded a meeting.
The entire team and our principal went to the meeting. The mom said her son didn't break the project.
"But he admitted to it."
"He's black, and knew you'd accuse him anyway because of his race, so he just wanted to get it over with."
(His teacher and our principal are also African-American.)
DQ: What's your best parent-teacher conference story?
You know it's not a great place to work when employees band together to walk out. Literally.
Unions were basically created for this reason, by having the working people band together to fight against being mistreated by corporations, they create power in numbers. Even without a formal union, there is still power in numbers--no company wants to be tasked with explaining themselves like that.