Teachers have a hard job. They not only serve as an educator, but as psychologist, a judge, a jury and a punisher for their students. All while being chronically underpaid. It's long hours and it's stressful. The last thing teachers need is to be bullied and mistreated by entitled parents that treat them like dirt. Mean parents; ungrateful parents; crazy parents.
These 13 stories curated from Reddit highlight just how wacky people can get when it comes their children. All posts have been edited for clarity.
"I had a child who missed all the lessons for three different subjects. His father told me his son didn’t need those because he (the father) is an expert in these areas and his son knows everything about them, as it comes with genes. Yeah, right, and I’m a lawyer, like my dad.
Another time he told me that he lives in another city and cannot visit the school. He also told me that his wife cannot walk due to her poor health condition and his son took her to the hospital driving the car - he was 12. That turned out to be a lie, of course.
He also didn’t want to sign any paperwork (which were needed for the final examination) because he thought the school would sell his personal information to somebody and steal his company. My guess is that the kid faked his signature, but I have no proof of that.
The worst part was that every time I called him it took minimum of one hour of him talking about suing us for speaking ill of his child because of his nationality.
I still have to deal with him for another three months until the child finishes the school."
"I had an elementary student who was totally wayward. She refused to do most of her assignments, and bothered other children incessantly. She was very often in trouble in the cafeteria, and in extra classes, like art and music. Her mother would call the school often with complaints about our not treating her child correctly.
When her parents came in for a conference, her mother brought in a large stuffed binder overflowing with information, observations, and other evidence that she had compiled on her child. She mother refused to be supportive of the school in any way, and said that her daughter needed to be designated as learning disabled. She wanted her little girl labeled and to have an IEP [Individual Learning Plan], and to have extra help from a teacher's aide. She was angry that the child had been considered by the committee for the handicapped several years previously, but had not been identified then as needing extra help.
At the mother's request the child was again referred to the committee for the handicapped. This entailed testing, and our psychologist spent quite a bit of time with her. She found that the little girl actually had normal abilities, but would usually disguise how much she could actually do academically.
When we finally had a committee meeting on the child, our psychologist reluctantly agreed to have her labeled and given an IEP, but only on the condition that she (the mother) also receive counseling. The mother was not happy with that condition. The day after parent conferences we used to all get together and agree that 'The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.'
I did not fully realize the scope of the situation until a later chat with our school psychologist. Apparently, the family was receiving a sizable government check each month for having a child with difficult problems in school. Our psychologist's opinion was that the mother was deliberately sabotaging any chance the kid would have for success, in order to keep getting that monthly check. The official form that I had filled out was to determine whether the checks would continue."
"I had a kid walk out of my class and then try to push past me to regain entry into the room. I’m restraint trained and one of the moves we’re taught is a guided redirection - literally how you’d help grandma if she was a little unsteady on her feet: a hand on each upper arm and you just pivot them around. The kid starts screaming bloody murder, 'you can’t hit me you’re pushing me, yada yada.' It’s all on camera showing I absolutely did no such thing.
She called her mother, saying I’d pushed her and her mom called several times demanding the front desk secretary that I call her back. So I did, I explained the situation. Her mom fully recognized that her kid is often a disrespectful snot but started screaming at me almost immediately and demanding that she speak to my boss.
Her mom screamed at me that I cannot put hands on a child. I absolutely can and am trained to do so if a child is a threat to the environment, which to me is a kid trying to push an adult. She told me that if her child wants to push past me then I’m supposed to let her, then get someone to call her and she’ll come and deal with it. That’s not how it works. I actually have a duty to, you know, teach the rest of the students, not entertain some angry kid sideshow.
She continued to scream and losing her mind. I was explaining to her that my principal wasn’t currently there and that I would have her call back, but this woman was screaming over and over why are you still talking put the principal on the phone.
The kicker? The kid originally walked out stating that she had to go to the bathroom, but all she did was wander the halls for a few minutes. It’s all on camera.
The kid is a hot mess and I see exactly why. Her mom is completely unstable and it’s sad. The kid regularly gets into altercations with other kids and then her mom gets involved and bullies the other kids involved. It’s really sad."
"I taught computer science at a high school for one semester while the full-time teacher was on maternity leave. I was encouraging the kids to use the internet to try to answer their coding questions before giving up and asking me. This is what programmers do, so I wasn’t trying to get out of working or anything.
I had a father complain that the internet was full of 'fake news' and he didn’t want his daughter using it, like at all. I told him there was no way I was changing my behavior, and that if he had a problem with it, he could take it up with the head of the school. I didn’t hear about it again, but I was certainly expecting to.
I did hear that this same parent had objected to a class where the students were supposed to watch bias news from both sides and write down all the fallacies they could find.
He apparently said that he decided what his daughter could watch and wouldn’t let her do it.
God forbid we teach kids to think for themselves and learn how to figure out what to trust. That would be crazy!"
"I teach English in China. I have had quite a few crazy incidents.
One was in a kindergarten class. We have the students seated in three rows; after a month we move each row back one and then move the back most row to the front. This way all students get a chance at the front. One mom told us HER child was NEVER to be seated at the back, and must always be seated at the front. Did they have vision problems? No. She was just selfish. To bad for all the other kids I guess.
At a primary school, one boy got 67% on his English exam. His rich mother came to our school and asked HOW DARE we fail her son on an exam. I was confused...what did she mean HOW DARE? That was his result! It seems she felt because she was rich and paid the school a lot of money, so we were not allowed to fail her son on a test. We ignored her, although we did allow him to test again... and he got almost exactly the same grade. Of course.
At the same primary school, one little girl's family was extremely rich and she had servants that she ordered around. One even carried her schoolbag to the gate and then gave it to her. The little girl tried to order the other students in her class around, just like she did with her servants. Of course, the other children ignored her and after a while she had no friends. Nobody wanted to talk to her because she was so bossy. Her mom came to school and threatened to have the other children killed unless they started talking to her daughter! Killed!
She said this TO THE PRINCIPAL and he came and told me, aghast. At the end of the term they told the family that there is no room for their daughter at the school next term.
I had a girl student come to school with cane marks on her legs. Why? Dad thought she needed to try harder - in kindergarten! He would not accept anything but perfect results from his daughter. He thought he was a wonderful father."
"We usually get parents to drive on field trips.
For one field trip, after meeting with my chaperones and giving them the directions to the location and the emergency info for each child they’d be driving, preassigned by me days earlier, I send the kids off with the correct parent to head to the parking lot and get going.
Now, one car only could fit two child seats (these were kindergarteners), so I had assigned that parent just his daughter and one other student. The other student was absent unexpectedly, and as I was preoccupied making sure everything else was in order, so I apologized, but remarked how fun it’ll be for just the two of them to go together. It was maybe a 15-minute drive.
Well, my aide and I finally leave the classroom to head out and as we’re walking to my car this Porsche comes screaming down the parking lot and turns sharply into a spot facing me on the sidewalk. It made us jump how sudden and aggressive it was. Sure enough, this dad that was only driving his daughter gets out and begins screaming at me as he’s quickly walking up to me. He gets in my face, fists clenched and shaking at his side, saying how stupid of me to not know that the other child would be absent and how he can’t believe how upset I’ve made his daughter. He really went on and on about how dumb teachers are and what a terrible school we must have. It was super scary how angry he was. Literally I thought he was going to grab me and choke me, his fists were clenched so tightly.
After about 45 seconds of him berating me, and my aide and I just standing there horrified, I went to speak to his daughter, watching her father scream at her teacher from the car, and she was sobbing. Honestly I think she was upset because she was afraid to be alone with him. I should have told him to calm down or else take his child home, but I was so scared, I was younger and not confident enough in myself to stand up to him, that I asked another parent to move one of their students and car seats to his car.
The next day the wife came and apologized to me. I can’t imagine what he’s like in the privacy of their home. Not a great situation and I feel sorry for his wife and two daughters. It was clear through other instances (unrelated to me, but public situations) that he has anger and control."
"I live in Korea. My first job in Korea was over 15 years ago at a community college, teaching English. I co-taught 90-minute classes. The first 45 taught by Koreans, in Korean, for grammar and the second 45 taught in English, to focus on fluency, but covering the same content as the first 45. It's an excellent system if you work well with your co-teachers. The downside for Korean teachers is that they have to do ALL the admin and paperwork plus deal with parents. It is practically unheard of for the foreign teacher to do a monthly consult with a parent.
Halfway through my first year, new students start every month, first task was always giving them English names, which I always found weird and awkward, so I always asked the Korean teachers to do it. One day Monica, my Korean co-teacher asks me to speak to a new girl in class as the student insists on being called 'Harry' from 'Harry Potter' and Monica wants a girl's name for her. Monica and I spend the whole first month trying to persuade her to use a feminine version of Harry, like Harriet, or Hermione, or anything else but, she only wants Harry.
When the first month's parent/teacher meeting comes around, Monica asks me to stay to speak to the mother about the naming issue. It's rare but not unheard of. I come in, sit down, Monica starts in Korean, but within moments the mother turns red, and in the coldest voice you can imagine turns to me and says, 'my SON goes to your school...' And she gets up and walks out. Never to be seen again.
An entire month - 12 classes with Monica, 12 classes with me and it never crossed our minds we had it backwards. Honestly, Monica and I were idiots."
"I had a parent accuse me of hitting her child and bruising him.
I was called into the admin's office and asked what happened. I explained that the incident the parent is referencing where she thinks he was hit, happened in a different room, on the other side of the building, nowhere near me. It was so clearly not true that I wasn't even asked a followup question. They just said I could leave. Understand, as a teacher, when you are accused of striking a child, you are almost always dismissed or put on leave while they look into it, unless the claim is just flat out unbelievable. That's how clear it was that I did nothing.
Be she continues claiming that I hit her child and saying that she's gonna get a lawyer and sue unless I am fired at once. The school stands their ground, saying they know for a fact I did nothing wrong and they will not fire me. We later find out her child did in fact have a bruise on his arm. He ALSO had a hockey game that same night before he went home. Just guess how he got that bruise. The school even pointed that out and still she continued to say I did it and she would sue.
My principal calls me into her office and explains that the parent is still accusing me, they know I did nothing and not to worry, as they were going to get their lawyers on it. This whole process took months and only ended when the school's lawyers contacted her and essentially threatened her to bring us to court if she wanted to waste her money.
Later, I taught at a school in New Hampshire for a summer. Many of the students were from South Korea. They used to be very loud and run a lot. I would ask them if that’s how they acted in school back home and they’d explain 'No never. In Korea if you act like that teachers hit you with a ruler, but this is America and teachers can’t do that here.'"
"My school had a policy all students that score under 70% on tests needed to have the test signed by a parent and returned to the teacher within three days. I had one incident where the parent and student didn't comply. I called, emailed, and sent notes home. No response. Finally, progress reports go out (not good for the student) and the next day the student's mom finds me and I am greeting my students at the door to my classroom. She decides this is the perfect time to rip into me and let me know how I've failed her child as a teacher. She did this all while I had a class full of students. When I finally got a word in, I her her that this wasn't the time for us to discuss her daughter's private information, especially in front of all her classmates, and I would love for her to email me some times when she was available to meet and then I shut the door.
She went straight down to the admin office and unleashed on the principal.
I was pulled from my class to come to the 'meeting.' I was verbally assaulted for about two minutes while my principal sat quietly watching and typing as she pulled up all my e-mails to the parent and checked my communication log (online spreadsheet we kept on the server outlining all communication that was phone call or notes).
The principal immediately found no fault with me and asked the parent if she was going to keep her daughter enrolled at our school, a private Catholic school. Then had parent go over and re-sign parent code of ethics contract. I went back to my classroom quite triumphantly.
The parents ending pulling kid out my school over Christmas break and enrolled her in a school that fit her needs better.
This kind of thing is the number 1 reason I'm not at this school anymore. Private school parents can feel very entitled because they pay your salary."
"I remember an incident when a parent came into the school to scream a teacher for failing her angel.
After about 10 minutes of her screaming. The Ogre just walks into the classroom. The Ogre is what we call one of my fellow teachers. He is a 7-foot tall history teacher who talks in a very clear slow manner. I don't know if he has eyelids because I never remember him blinking.
He approaches the woman and talks to her slowly. 'I am trying to teach my class.'
The woman attempts to yell again.
'I am trying to teach my class.'
She continues to yell.
'I AM TRYING TO TEACH MY CLASS!'
She is getting freaked out by this point. He is just looking down at her staring and unblinking. The mother walked out to the office. It was amazing.
You don't mess with The Ogre."
"I teach special education and have dealt with a wide variety of parents over the years, but my absolute favorite moment happened around this time last year.
This kiddo came to school not feeling well and she’d been out earlier that week. She asked for a break before she started working, which we encourage them to do f they aren't feeling well and he fell asleep in the break space, which is no big deal. I messaged her mom when her nap hit the 90-minute mark to let her know that the kid probably needed to take another day off to get fully healthy and ready to learn. Her mom’s response is one I never could have predicted and never will forget.
'Are you sure she’s breathing?'
To be clear this kiddo is a fifth grader with has no medical issues or disabilities that put her at any elevated risk for an issue during her nap. Apparently the mom thought that I was so incompetent I might have mixed up sleeping with a medical emergency."
"Back in the early 2000s, I had graduated high school and was trying to decide what to do in life. Both my parents were in education, and I thought it might be the direction I wanted to go. My mom was good friends with the tech department manager in the district where she taught and got me on as an aid under him. He wasn't a teacher, but was in charge of the computer lab.
Usually, the teachers would take the kids in and either the teacher or the librarian would teach a class in there, which was 80% drawing in some art application or playing Oregon Trail. They decided that they wanted a more advanced class, so I started teaching a programming class to the fifth graders.
In one of the classes, I had a kid that would come in and look up smut every time he was in front of a computer. This was before decent firewalls, and other safeguards on the internet. He was a pretty smart kid, but a straight up prick, and even as a fifth grader, he had an inch on me (I'm 5'10). I tried my best to encourage him to work on learning some basic Java programming, but he was having none of it and wasn't intimidated by me in any way. I was not given power to deal with him, and his teacher washed her hands of him because she was already sick of him. So when he came in, which ever computer he sat at, I would just power off the system, unplug it, and have him work on code on a sheet of paper.
Well... He went home, and told his parents that I was showing him smut, and worse, that I had touched him... Mind you, I had never touched him in any way, or ever been alone with him, There was always another teacher in the class since I was an aid and not allowed to be alone with the kids. The parents, of course, instantly sided with their kid. They came into the class and screamed in my face, dragged me into a meeting with the principal and the superintendent (somebody I had know more than half my life personally), and they told the most insane lies about me to of things they said I had done to their son. They tried to drag my name through the mud, and even filed a lawsuit against me and the school district. Their lawsuit fell flat, but I still had to deal with going to court, and all the aftermath of being accused of such a terrible thing.
In the end, nothing happened to them. Their son graduated to middle school, and there was no punishment for him, nor to the parents. I think the school district paid their lawyer fees, just to get them to go away, and that was it.
Oh, and I was fired from being an aid.
Parents are the main reason I didn't go into teaching."
"Last school year, I temporarily taught junior high at a Catholic school from which I was essentially forced to resign. I had a psychotic principal.
In addition to the crazy principal, most of the parents were crazy helicopter parents who thought there was nothing wrong with their kids at all. With this being said, there was a husband, and wife couple who made my life a disaster and probably cost me my job.
Their daughter was a straight A student, and very well-behaved, but she would go home and tell her parents that my teaching was 'ineffective,' and wasn't preparing her for high school. I guess the parents were secretly emailing the principal bald-faced lies about me. Some of the claims were that I would, 'play on the computer' during class, or I would purposely let students argue with each other to get a 'rise' out of the class, and other completely bizarre lies. They did this to get me fired.
My principal told me she didn't necessarily believe them, but since they were the 'backbone' of donations for our school(AKA rich parents), she was going to be extremely strict on me, and micromanage every single thing I do with a strict observation which would probably terminate me, or she would give me the option to resign with a severance check(this happened right before our Christmas Break too). I took the money, and ran.
Honestly, my situation isn't that unique. So many teachers go through truly corrupt parents who are literally out to get the teacher. Money runs the schools."