"A few years ago, my cousin was teaching at a summer school for underprivileged kids to keep them off the streets and out of trouble. One day, one of the younger girls (7 or 8 years old) was crying, so she naturally went up and asked her what's wrong.
Student: 'Miss, that boy over there keeps saying my mum's a streetwalker.'
Cousin: 'Don't listen to him, he's making it up just to be mean.'
Student: 'No, he's correct, but he doesn't have to keep saying it!"
Needless to say, my cousin was shocked, just like everyone else who's heard her story."
"After an assembly and football game one night, there was a student staying after everyone had left. My principal went to talk to him and discovered that his mom had not arrived to pick him up. When they got her on the phone, my principal reported that the mom was overheard yelling at her son, 'I told you not to go. This is my night to go to the casino. You can just wait there.' My principal and the student reported that the mom was clearly wasted.
My principal ended up taking the student home in their private vehicle around midnight.
That student went on to be arrested for breaking and entering throughout the community. The kicker? The student got a taste for breaking and entering when our school renovated the cafeteria and stored all of the non-perishables in a portable unit. He would break in just to get something to eat because there was no food at home.
I believe that this student remains incarcerated at this time."
"I once taught a girl (9 at the time) who was absent on Monday, and when she was back on Tuesday, she told me she had been sick from drinking her mom's 'special' drinks.
After some digging, we discovered her stepdad (a known junkie) had tried to commit suicide the previous Friday, failed, and then had a second lease on life which gave him the idea to host an impromptu all-night party that Saturday.
The girl and her younger sister were apparently as much part of the party as everyone else and had essentially hoovered up all of the half-finished drinks they found left unattended and got smashed, hence the hangover that Monday.
The mother has since left the stepdad and is now dating her cousin. He sometimes arrives to pick up the children without a shirt on.'
"I'm not a teacher but was very close with a my high school math teacher, and I went out for a drink with him after graduating college, and he told me this gem:
One of his students slept with another student's mom. To give fake names, and make things easier, Jim slept with Stacy's mom. My teacher heard it happened at a party at Stacy's house after her mother came home from a night out.
Stacy was livid, as her parents had recently gotten divorced, and she wanted revenge.
What did she do? Stacy sought out and ended up sleeping with Jim's dad, and not much later, found out she was pregnant from that encounter, which also split up Jim's family. This was something that EVERY student and teacher knew about the situation.
Stacy ended up getting an abortion and Jim was mad at her for splitting up his family. They must've each needed a shoulder to cry on because they started dating not long afterward.
And to top it all off, not too long after his divorce, Jim's dad started dating Stacy's mom.
My teacher told me that months later, a different teacher in the school saw Jim's dad and Stacy's mom out for dinner, and struck up a conversation about their kids.
Apparently, they hadn't talked about their kids AT ALL since they'd been together, and the conversation that ensued was not a pretty one. Once Stacy's mom had figured out that the person sitting across from her had been the one to get her daughter pregnant, it went down.
I guess it's hard to realize you're the female equivalent of Eskimo brothers with your daughter, to a man that got your daughter pregnant, and a man you've been dating for a few months."
"In my profession, it's more often what the parents don't do that wins them the parent of the year award. But I do have a couple hall of famers.
I'm a special education teacher, so I deal with kids with all kinds of physical, emotional, and academic disabilities. I took care of a little girl once who had a number of complications due to spina bifida. Her mother couldn't be bothered to take care of her.
The little girl wore diapers and had a catheter. She required anywhere from three to five diaper changes a day, but her mom would only send five diapers a week. The thing is, she was getting full services from her community, so she was being provided with plenty of supplies. We suspect the mom was probably selling the extras. I ended up just buying her diapers. The girl's mom would not change her catheter regularly. We would change her out at school, but other than that, she'd go another 24 hours before a change out. Longer, if it was a weekend. The smell from the infections she'd get after a weekend was horrendous.
There were some initial reports from doctors on this child indicating that she may have had some bowel control, but she had never been potty trained. We did implement a protocol to attempt to train her. We had to get Mom's permission, but all she had to say was, 'I don't care what you do at school, nobody in this house is taking her to the bathroom. She can use the diaper.'
She had lice constantly and oozing bed bug sores. Her mom told us to get lost whenever we'd call and tell her to take her to a doctor. We later found out later in the year that she also had scabies. We offered to administer the medications and creams at school, but the mom told us to mind our own business. The girl would come to school in men's underwear, XXL shirts, and size 16 pants. She was 8 years old.
We finally discovered that her 9-year-old sister was changing her diapers and dressing her every day, and her sister couldn't find any other cleanish clothes to put on her. The mom's response was, 'I'm busy. I have to get to work in the mornings.'
The final straw came when the nurse discovered what appeared to be STD warts while changing her diaper one day. The nurse made (for the 10th time) another CPS report, but the principal insisted that we call home and report our findings. The girl's grandma found out, tipped off the mom, and mom appeared at the school 15 minutes later, snatched up the kids and disappeared. Investigators showed up 15 minutes later, but the mom was already long gone.
We never saw the kids again."
"A classmate in third grade was tragically and blatantly neglected by her family and severely 'behind' in school, yet had the biggest heart ever. She smelled terrible, was always filthy, and could barely read. We all knew she had a terrible home life and still always tried to be decent to her.
It was Halloween and all of the kids were bringing in candy to hand out, including our not so fortunate classmate, which was a shocker to most of us as we were aware of her family's financial state.
We all finished up with passing out our candy and we're allowed to enjoy some of it, including the milk duds our classmate so graciously shared, and then she proclaimed, 'Oh yeah! My uncle and I really lucked out while dumpster diving this week when we found these!'
We could only assume it was expired candy. She told us they went dumpster diving at a discount grocery surplus store where there were items close to or just past expiration. I don't remember seeing much of her after that.
A few years later, I happened to see the old classmate at the local Halloween parade. She was wearing a nice, clean, warm coat, and was looking very happy and very healthy, and she introduced me to her foster family. "
"When I was a little kid in fifth grade, my teachers made us do this thing where we got into a big circle and we had to share something that happened the previous day. My dad and I got into a minor accident at McDonald's, but my parents ended up getting into a big fight when my mom found out. Things like divorce and threats of leaving were thrown around.
From what I remember, my mom just freaked out and made a big deal out of it by saying things like my dad shouldn't have a license and he was going to get us sued. Basically just blowing the situation completely out of proportion and setting him off. The accident we got into wasn't a severe one either.
When it was my turn to share, I tried to opt out, but my teachers made me say something. I said something to the effect of, 'My dad got into a car accident and my parents are fighting,' while I was very clearly trying not to cry. Some kid (who probably wasn't even listening and talking to friends) just so happened to laugh. I vividly remember yelling, 'It's not funny, my parents are going to get divorced!' and breaking out into a fit.
The teacher awkwardly asked the person beside me to keep up the circle."
"I teach at a kindergarten. We knew our very worst, most uncontrollable student's parents were going through problems so we just did our best to put up with it.
One day, this boy came to school and started saying to teachers, 'You don't love me, you just hook up with me!'
Obviously, he had no idea what it really meant, he would say it and then stare at the teacher to see their reaction.
I was shocked when I heard him say it to one of the female teachers and then, God help me, I had to try not to laugh. I remember looking at his mom when she came to pick him up that day.
Ten years later, I saw him in McDonald's with his mom; a very sad looking quiet boy. I said hello, but he didn't recognize me. She doesn't even know this happened because no one ever told her about it."
"I gave an assignment where the students had to select a piece of music that they thought conveyed mourning or sadness. They then had to write a couple of sentences on it explaining how it conveyed that emotion.
One of my students misunderstood the assignment and wrote two pages about how the song conveyed sadness because it reminded them about their junkie mother who left them and had been in-and-out of their life because she kept choosing her lifestyle over her kids.
It was really sad. This kid wasn't a great student and it was sobering to see what is affecting them at home to influence their behavior at school.
When I collected the writing, the student saw what everyone else was handing in and realized what they were actually told to do. They got really embarrassed and told me that they had misunderstood the assignment. They got full points. Looking back, I kinda wish I'd given 'em extra credit
The school has counselors and very kind deans, and I know she has talked to them. I wish I could say her situation is rare, but in the area, I don't think that it is. There are certainly things in place in order for the school to help as much as it can in these situations though."
"I had one student that was extremely smart but she did have problems with ADHD. Her mother would regularly sell her daughter's prescription medication rather than giving it to her daughter.
I had another parent when confronted about her child stealing a pair of shoes flatly stated, 'Who wouldn't steal a pair of shoes that were just sitting on the bench with no one watching them?' She couldn't process that someone might look at the shoes and not take them."
"My 6-year-old student is cared for by his grandma. His grandma had a kid one year after my student was born, so his uncle is younger than him.
His grandma wants the 5-year-old uncle to be the 'man' of the house, which means that the uncle is in charge of discipline. This takes the form of the two of them always beating the crap out of each other and the grandma condoning it.
The grandma thinks the uncle is always right and actively tells him to beat his nephew. This goes to the extent that my student has come to school with a concussion and vomited during class.
Child Protective Services have been notified, but nothing has come of it yet."
"One of my students is a real disaster. He never shuts up, never pays attention, always interrupts what we're doing to ask questions or make comments that are totally off topic. The other kids treat him like a joke and I hadn't been given any real guidance on him. I'm new at the school this year so finally asked my colleague about him. Apparently, his mom committed suicide last year, he might have been the one to find the body, but to top it off, before she died, she was having an affair with a famous local politician that basically everyone knew about, and it came out later that his dad is currently and maybe at the time having an affair with another school parent.
It was honestly the most heartbreaking and horrible things I ever heard. I'm really hoping the kids who are horrible to him have no idea the back story and are just being normal middle school jerks and not extra special heinous jerks."
"I rode the bus all through school. It used to be a rowdy place, but at some point, we got the iron fist driver (he was actually very nice) to turn our bus of shenanigans around. He ran a tight ship, took no crap and had us all right as rain in no time.
One of his unique strategies was to disperse the age/class cliques. Gone were the days of the high and mighty high schoolers ruling the back few seats. We now had assigned seating and he paired each of us older kids with a younger student. It changed the culture pretty quickly.
I was assigned to sit with this young girl (maybe a fourth or fifth grader), she was pretty hyper and talked non stop. One day, out of the blue, in regular conversation, I said her name, 'Angel.'
She said, 'No, don't call me that. I've got a nickname, call me Poon Tang.'
At first, I thought I had heard her wrong, or maybe she mispronounced something else, so I asked, 'What did you say?'
Her usual soft-spoken quietness turned into a loudspeaker, 'I said POON TANG!' Oh dear, everyone turned around. I could feel my face getting flushed with embarrassment. I just tried to change the subject, nodded, commented on the weather, anything.
This girl would not stop. Poon Tang this, Poon Tang that. Finally, she said, 'You know why my nickname is Poon Tang?' For the love of Pete, I have no idea why I even acknowledged her. But she said, 'My daddy calls me Poon Tang, and he says I'm his little Poon Tang. Yep, Daddy says I'm the best Poon Tang on earth.'"
"My story isn't directly about parents, but I can only assume they played a big part.
I was working as an assistant in the late enrollment kindergarten class (AKA lots of low-income kids whose parents couldn't be bothered to sign their kids up for school on time). There were only about three kids who were diagnosed and I was assigned to help, but I quickly became more of a teacher assistant because I was helping all the kids and I loved it. I formed a great bond with all my students.
Well, one day, the teacher took the class to recess and I stayed behind because one little girl was using the in-class restroom and another little girl was finishing up class work or something. The girl in the restroom swung the door open with her shirt up, pants and underwear down, and yelled, 'Look at me, I'm a dancer!' as she performed a little dance and laughed and slammed the door shut.
My jaw hit the floor and I looked at the other girl who had the same expression as me. After I got them out to recess with the rest of the class, I immediately told the teacher and she, of course, pulled both students aside to talk to them. I can't remember what answer she got from the dancer kid but the other girl just straight up denied seeing anything, as if she was scared she would get in trouble.
It was just so shocking to me to see one 5-year-old act like that and another so deeply instilled with the 'no snitching' mentality."
"I used to work with teenagers who had behavior problems in a special school. One day, a student of mine had an outburst. He started punching staff and students alike while screaming. It took five male teachers to hold him down. The headmaster called his mom so she could pick him up. She had 10 minutes; if she took any longer, we would call the cops.
The mother arrived in eight minutes. A woman in her late 40s with bleach blond hair wearing a mini skirt and a crop top came in yelling and swearing at her son. She picked him up and smacked him at the back of the head while telling him he was a good for nothing idiot.
The apple does not fall far from the tree."
"As a student in the fifth grade, our teacher told us that adults who do smack can sometimes become so addicted they are not able to pay for their house and then they lose the house.
A classmate raised her hand and said, 'That's what happened to my dad.'
The teacher responded, 'Oh, Christie, hunny, that wasn't because he was on smack, he just had a hard time with the bills.'
Christie's response, 'No, he was on smack.'
Several seconds of silence were followed by the continuation of the math lesson."
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