Teachers Share Their Worst Case Of ‘My Child Can Do No Wrong’ They’ve Ever Seen
Teachers have it rough. Being a parent is a tough job, there’s no denying, but at least you’re only responsible for your own offspring. Teachers are responsible for two-dozen (or more) different kids, all with different needs and behaviors, and they’re expected to somehow get all those kids to learn something. Most of the time they do this with little support from the kids’ parents or even their own administration.
When the question “Teachers and child care workers: What is the worst case of ‘my child can do no wrong’ you’ve ever seen?” was asked, the response was huge. From horribly behaved students whose parents swear they are angels to poor kids who can’t sneeze without their mom handing them a tissue, taking their temperature, and calling the doctor, there are plenty of hair-raising stories to go around. Comments have been edited for clarity.
Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#25 That Backfired
I had a boy who kept acting out in class; things like talking to classmates while I was giving directions, giving strange answers, hitting the boys sitting next to him in the arm, grabbing a boy’s genitals during class. I kept notes and informed our academy director about what was happening and he was pulled aside after school a few times to talk about his behavior.
One day, at the end of class, he reached across the table and forcefully flicked a girl in the forehead. She complained and he cocked back his arm like he was going to punch her in response. I had him sit while I let everyone else leave and told him to stay seated while I discussed his behavior with the academy director. If nothing else, being the last one to go would be a sort of punishment.
The director chewed him out and apparently, he told his mom about it because his mom came to the academy to say that her son was an angel and I should be reprimanded for exaggerating or lying about the situation. Cue the director listing off all the awful stuff her son had done over the past few weeks and telling her that her son was no longer welcome at the academy. Never saw him again after that.
#24 Someone’s An Idiot
I work in an after school care. One day. a 9-year-old was showing everyone his lighter by trying to set the shirt he was wearing on fire. I obviously took the lighter off him. When his mother came to pick him up, I handed it to her and told her about him trying to set his shirt on fire.
Turns out it was her lighter, so I had “no right” to confiscate it and her son just wouldn’t try to set his clothes on fire because “he’s not an idiot,” so I must have been making it up.
#23 Helicopter Parenting
My mom owned a daycare center, and I worked there when I wasn’t in school. There were some very unique kids and some crazy parents. The one that comes mind though had a 6-year-old son. This kid was an incredible brat, but as soon as you met his parents you understood why. He had just started school and was coming home upset because kids were making fun of him because of his pacifier that he kept with him and used throughout the day.
So his mom decided to wait with him at the school bus stop and pick him up from there. One day they were waiting and he mentioned he had a wedgie. So right there at the bus stop, in front of all the kids in his class, and the crossing guard, his mom picked it for him. Just stuck her hand down his pants and took care of it for him.
She wouldn’t even let him handle his own wedgie.
Needless to say, that did not help with his teasing.
#22 Not So Secret Anymore
I had a third-grade student whose mother felt that I favored other students over her son. She would call me and yell at me about not treating him fairly and lying. She snuck past the office a few times to come into the classroom to watch me teach (which of course is illegal and I’d have to call the office). She’d tell me and the principal that she was trying to “catch me in the act [of being dishonest].” Of course, my principal always defended me and dealt with the parent.
As a final straw, the mother bought a watch with a voice recorder in it and the boy wore it to school. He yelled out in the middle of class suddenly, “I’m secretly recording you and you won’t teach here for much longer!” Of course, the watch was confiscated and the child was moved into a different classroom, though the school district could have legally moved him into another. But the mother still never backed down and the next teacher had similar issues.
#21 Wait Until The Dean Gets Here
Before college classes started, we used to hold activities for first-year students. Nothing educational, but always good fun.
We had a student show up with his mother, and she questioned everything we were doing and how it will relate to her son’s studies.
It didn’t. We were very clear that it was all for building relationships and a bit of pre-study enjoyment. It was also a chance to meet older students and get an idea of campus life.
She was having none of it. She wanted to speak with the head of the department and file an official complaint about these activities. Clearly having fun was not part of an education.
The second day she came again and triumphantly said the dean is coming to talk to us. The dean did come, gave us a pep talk and said how much he enjoyed this time of the year, chugged a beer and told us to join him in the local pub later on.
She was speechless and left in a huff dragging her son by the hand.
Neither showed up for the rest of the week.
#19 Careful What You Wish For
I work at a Summer Camp where we tell scary stories. One of the boys in the camp couldn’t sleep for the whole week because of some of the stories, so his mom demanded the scary stories be banned or she would basically bad-mouth our programs. The next Monday, the boy complained to me that we couldn’t tell scary stories anymore and was upset about it. Tell that to your stupid mom…
#18 I Plead The Fifth
An incredibly quiet student just flat out refused to engage in any discussion in class. She was an extremely pleasant girl, she just wouldn’t speak. I brought it up with her mother during an interview and she told me she’d forbidden her daughter to express her opinion and to just listen to the teacher out of fear they wouldn’t agree with her opinion and mark her down out of bias. I assured her that expressing an opinion wouldn’t get a student marked down in my class and that developing one is important to her learning but she just said: “I’d rather she didn’t.”
#17 Seems Totally Legit
Less helicopter parent, more “my child is innocent” and a scam. My mom was kicked out of work (temporarily) from her underprivileged school until this case was settled. A kindergartener had just gotten her ears pierced and she took the earrings out in class because they hurt. The teacher sent her to the health secretary (my mom) and the little girl lost an earring somewhere along the way. Cleaned the ears and sent her back to class. Mother of the child sued my mom and filed a case with the school because I guess the earrings were solid gold and diamond. I guess that’s what Claire’s pierced with, seems legit. She tried to accuse my mom of stealing the earring because there’s no chance that a 6-year-old just lost a tiny object. Of course, the woman did not win in this situation and my mom got back to work, but it was a whole bunch of baloney, accusing the teachers and office employees at the school for a lost earring and injured earlobe.
#16 Perseverance Pays Off
While I was student teaching, I had a student and his mom was the art teacher. The student was a straight up jerk. He would cheat on any assignment, belittle classmates, etc… Any time the student got in trouble or was called out, he would run to his mom (the art teacher) and she would fight for him. All the teachers in the school were afraid of her since she has been in the district for a long time and was thought to do no wrong by the administration.
The student ended up plagiarizing an essay in class. I gave the student a zero (as it was stated in the assignment sheet that all plagiarism would be an automatic zero) and all hell broke loose. Meetings with the principal were set up, mom would come in during my plan period and rip me for failing her kid, the student would come fake crying to class, the works. The essay was a large portion of the grade and would mean he would fail the class. After about two weeks of the mom coming in, I finally told her if he turned a new essay into me by the end of the week he could get 50% credit on it (it would move his grade to a “D” if he got a 100%).
The student comes waltzing into class on Friday and hands me his essay. After quickly scanning the essay it just seemed off. After a quick Google search, the student took the entire Wikipedia page and copied it for his essay. After school, I went down to the art room to talk to the mom. I still remember the conversation like it was yesterday.
Me: Mitch did a great job on his essay! Mom: Great! He was locked up in his room all week working on it. Me: When I looked at his paper I did notice there was an odd section though. Mom: What do you mean? Me: This section has a superscript number on it and I don’t see where he cited it. Mom: That is odd, I’ll ask him about it. Me (pulls out the printed Wikipedia page over his topic that is word-for-word): Here is the Wikipedia page over his topic if you want to look at it. Mom (scanning over both and her face turns ghost white): Will he be able to make this up? Me (with a look of disbelief on my face): Heck no!
The student ended up getting suspended and mom tried to fight the suspension. She even went so far as to look into the legitimacy of the grade since a student teacher taught the course. All in all, the mom is no longer a teacher in the district and the kid is in jail now. The rest of the staff loved me for standing up to her and her son.
#15 You Can’t Do What?
I’m a nanny on the upper east side of New York and while my boss is a good, non-helicopter father, I routinely have play dates with other kids.
My 13-year-old had a sleepover and I got a four-page list of things one girl wasn’t allowed to do or eat. When I asked her about it, she told me she was only allergic to hazelnuts, and everything on the list was there because her mom “didn’t want her getting fat.” I let her eat with the girls (we had a build your own nacho/quesadilla thing) and I took them to the bodega and got candy and soda to watch movies around 10 after they begged me to do so.
Her mother informed my boss two days later her kid was no longer allowed to be friends with his daughter and it was my fault, as it was irresponsible for me to let four girls leave the house after dark, with a chaperone or not (that bodega is legitimately less than 250 feet away).
#14 That’s Quite A Difference
I had a student ask where dogs came from. I’m not sure why he asked me since I was an English teacher, but whatever. I said they were bred from wolves, and gave two common explanations for how human interaction may have started. Later, the mom called the school, then me personally, freaking out that I mentioned evolution. Turned into a whole thing.
#13 That Escalated Quickly
I had a pretty typical red/yellow/green behavior chart in my classroom. One child was just transferred to me, not a completely terrible kid but had a habit of not knowing where the line was, so it got him in trouble from time to time. Every time I flipped his card to a yellow or red, it would let the parent know what happened and what we’re going to do to stop the behavior in future. But his mom went off on how it’s the other little kid causing the problems and her child is perfect. I let her know that while there isn’t a perfect person in the scenario, both kids could have acted in a different way. She then stated, and I’m not kidding, “I know that the other kid is a dirty foster child (still to this day don’t know how she learned this) and he assaulted my child (foster child pushed back after being hit by her child)!” SHE SAID THIS IN FRONT OF THE OTHER CHILD! I told her to meet me in the office. I then had a meeting with the director and she was no longer allowed in my classroom. However, I had to take down my behavior chart which kinda sucked because of how well it was working.
#12 Like Father Like Son
I had a student who was failing pretty badly. He had an awful bad attitude and was extremely disrespectful. When I called his father, the response was “You’re a woman, he doesn’t need to respect you.” I handed the phone to a male mentor teacher pretty dumbfounded and explained the situation. The male teacher proceeded to ream the dad out and then had the kid transferred from my class to his class. The kid still failed and was still a disrespectful jerk. Not sure what the dad had to say about that, but at least he couldn’t blame it on me being a woman.
#11 Arbitrarily Picky
Well, we had a “no peanuts” rule due to several allergies and this one mom would purposely bring her child peanut butter sandwiches to make some sort of statement about his free will.
This was the same mom who flipped her lid on us whenever we had any products containing red food dye in the classroom, ranting about artificial ingredients, and texting our supervisor a five paragraph essay saying we endangered her son’s health. Kicker: We gave him brown M&M’s, not red.
I could go on and on about that mom.
#10 Is There Something Wrong?
I taught a 5-year-old whose very eccentric and wealthy mother came in to meet with us before he started to tell us that he had some developmental and social issues and needed a little extra attention and help understanding things (note that at this age a lot of kids aren’t officially tested yet for anything).
He comes in and we discover after a week or two that he is absolutely 100% fine developmentally, he’s just HORRIBLY behaved and has never been disciplined in his entire life. He was a NIGHTMARE who was rude, entitled, and bratty, but he was perfectly smart and once we got through to him about what behavior was expected of him, he could easily do it. She was a lazy parent who instead of admitting that he was a brat chalked it up to disabilities. To sum it up: “There’s no way that my child can be wrong something must be wrong WITH him.”
#9 You Can Only Do So Much
I’m a high school counselor. Last year I had this student who was a total sweetheart but really needed intervention. This girl was a sophomore and had a grand total of 20 credits towards graduation under her belt. She should have had 90 by that point and was on track to fail 25 more that spring. She was failing miserably. Not only that, but she would be constantly ditching class and often end up in my office because there was nowhere else to go. The school has only one way in or out. I did everything in my power to help this girl and eventually was able to get a parent meeting with myself, teachers, the school psych, and school administrators involved. I explained to her parents in great detail how at this point it was mathematically impossible for her to graduate from high school at the rate she was failing classes. I offered a continuation school that has a much higher rate of graduation for students in her situation. I desperately wanted her to get tested for special education because it was obvious she had deficiencies and could have at least gotten some legal accommodations put in place for her in order to help her. Parents just said no to everything. No to continuation school because that’s where the “bad” kids went. No to testing because special ed had a “bad stigma.” No to after-school tutoring because “she’s capable of doing all of this work.” No to working one-on-one with the school psych to sort out her emotional issues. No to everything. I’d never felt so defeated and knew then that I couldn’t save every kid no matter how much I wanted to.
#8 Sneaky Sneaky
Teacher here. We had a student, 5th grade, who was pretty sneaky at first. He acted innocent but he was far from it. I’ll jump to the end. He stepped on someone when they were laying down during free reading time. He would constantly talk and prevent the class from getting to lunch and specials on time, and did this just to cause trouble. He hit someone with a meter stick. He would “accidentally” kick people. He stole stuff. He cursed. Mom came out and said we were singling him out and he would never do those things and told us to stop contacting her. Later he did something else, something like ripping up classroom decorations or something like that, and the principal saw it. The principal called mom. Instead of accepting her child does wrong, she pulled him out of school. Since he hadn’t been doing his work, this kid that was actually quite smart had all F’s as transfer grades.
#7 If The Bite Marks Fit…
I once had a kid bite another kid. We had pictures of the bite mark where teeth were clearly visible, and the kid admitted to biting the other kid because he got in his way. The parents said he would never bite anyone and that the picture could be of any type of injury.
#6 A Slight Overreaction
I work at a kindergarten in China. We had one special group of children that was taught all in English for every subject. This is very expensive and all the parents are pretty rich.
Anyway, this VERY rich mother was upset because the other rich kids didn’t want to play with her daughter. Her daughter, having servants at home, tried to order the other kids around and you can imagine how popular that made her.
This mother threatened to have the other children killed unless they started playing with her daughter.
#5 This Girl Needs A Chill Pill
I used to nanny for a pretty affluent lady during the summer holidays in high school. The kid was a BRAT. Temper tantrums over every single instance that didn’t go exactly her way, screeching hissy fits and tears all day long. The kid would purposely drop cereal on the ground and refused to pick it up, because “that is what the housekeeper is for.” She had a personal cell phone (at 3!) which was a direct line so her dad could call her whenever he felt like it. She would randomly tell cashiers at the store that they were poor, make endless demands for gifts and candy, and never really had food that wasn’t take-out before we started cooking together. Just no discipline whatsoever.
The kicker here is that whenever the tears didn’t immediately work, she would snottily announce “if you don’t do what I say, then I WILL feel ill,” and then would make herself throw up on purpose through the sheer power of will and then demand that you catch the puke with your hands. Her mom did exactly that. I didn’t.
I made it through 3 years of that before I went off to college, simply because the mom paid so incredibly well and because no one else was willing to go babysit there. In the end, the kid liked me a lot, mostly because I didn’t put up with her crap and because I took her out for activities outdoors and walks with my dog when she actually behaved. Last I heard, the kid’s grandma moved in with them so she could accompany their little Veruca Salt to school every day. Her mom still thinks that her kid is special and smart for being demanding.
#4 Needed A Good Dose Of Reality
I had a kid who never did any work in class and was caught trying to cheat numerous times and overall was a disruption. I never like to just give a kid a zero, so I’d given him numerous opportunities to make up work and redo the stuff he cheated on. He rarely took advantage of it and was missing a lot of work.
One day I got an email from his mother asking why his grade was so low and as to why I was “slacking off” on putting his work into my grade book. Overall the email was probably 5-6 paragraphs long berating me, saying I was a student teacher at the time so “I knew nothing.” The work she was referring to was stuff he had turned in about 2 hours before this email came to me (everything got turned into our school website in this class so it was all digital). Needless to say, I quickly figured out the kid fed his mom a load of crap about his work, told her it was all my fault that his grade was so low because I wasn’t doing my job, and overall that I should feel ashamed for putting him in that position. I sent her a nice reply pointing out the timestamps on the assignments that show he’d only recently sent the stuff in and that I normally try to get everything in about 24 hours after it gets submitted, but that it may be a little longer when assignments are turned in late. The mother never replied back after realizing her son had lied to her about basically everything.
#3 Gotta Watch Those Highlighters
Some time in 2012, a 4th grader I worked with was taking apart a highlighter at the sink and overflowing a cup. I asked him what his intention was and he said: “I’m going to poison a girl I don’t like with highlighter juice.” I asked why he would do that and he said: “I REALLY, REALLY HATE HER.”
I told my dunce of a superior about this and she said, “oh he’s just being dramatic” and blew me off. I told her if she did not escalate this I’m going over her head and she said fine. When his mom came to pick him up we explained what happened and she looked at him like, “oh my did you really do this?” in a way like she’s never heard him do anything close to this. This was not the first time we’ve had issues with this kid that involved telling his parents, but she just sounded so surprised THIS time.
The next afternoon I could hear the kid from across the room telling his friends under his breath how he hated me for reporting this. The kid openly admitted he wanted to poison someone, and the cup in the sink was full of yellow water. For the rest of the week when he got picked up by mom she asked him how his day went and he gave her the puppy dog eye treatment as if plotting to injure someone didn’t happen a few days earlier. She was so whipped. Parenting is awful these days, I swear. I’m no longer in the field.
#2 Do No Wrong
I emailed a parent to say their child was currently passing, but could technically fail the class if they did poorly on their final project and the final exam. In the ensuing parent/teacher conference, I was told I was trying to fail the student and ruin his football scholarship.
I had another student, same situation, different year. The parents wanted the principal to be present for the conference. The dad tried getting into a shouting match with my principal and he left crying because his little girl might fail.
#1 Good Riddance
Preschool teacher here! A 4-year-old would bully/tease/punch/pull other kids’ hair and curse up a storm. He was so challenging to the point where a lot of focus was on him, and the other kids were following his lead and he took advantage of that hard. Nothing we said helped him change for the two years we had him. We gave him so many consequences and while we did reward good behavior, he rarely ever was good.
The parents would completely baby him. They acted like he was innocent and his behavior was “cute” to them. They never took what we said seriously and think we exaggerate. He’s going to Kindergarten now, so good riddance.