Hey, teacher! Leave those kids alone! These parents share the reasons why they’ve got into a major argument with their child’s school. Hopefully, they got an A+ for defending their kids! Content has been edited for clarity.
Pathetic School Policies Part 1
“This happened a few years ago while my kids were in high school.
My wife and I were foster parents to three teens, plus, we had our three biological children, plus one adopted son. The high school our children attended had a zero-tolerance policy against fighting. Seemed like a decent policy, right?
We had been working with our foster daughter, who was seventeen years old, to help bring her grades up. She had been working hard and earning B’s, C’s, and even an A or two. My wife and I were extremely proud of her progress.
On this particular day, our daughter’s teacher told us another female student had been bullying her all day. The bullying ranged from threats and insults to trying to pick a fight. We’ll call the bully, ‘Melissa.’
Toward the end of the day, Melissa and my daughter had a class together. During class, they were watching a film as an assignment. The teacher was in the hall welcoming students to class, and my daughter was on the floor with other students waiting for the film to start. Suddenly, in walks Melissa.
Melissa made another threat as she walked by my daughter.
My daughter replied, ‘If you’ve got something to say, say it to my face.’
Melissa got in my daughter’s face, grabbed her by the hair, and began punching her. They went at it, rolling on the floor and throwing punches at one another. The teacher ran in, broke up the fight, and sent the two girls to the principal’s office. Melissa received an automatic ten-day suspension for fighting, as did my daughter for defending herself.
The school had another policy my wife and I didn’t know about. Any student who had nine or more unexcused absences within six weeks received an automatic zero in the class, regardless of their grade prior. There were only two excuses accepted by the school policy.
The first excuse was a court-ordered absence, proven by a written letter from a judge or clerk of the court. The second excuse was a medical absence with a written letter from a doctor. Parental notes didn’t count, and getting suspended for fighting was unexcused.
So, every student who received a ten-day suspension automatically failed all of their classes, with no recourse for appealing the decision or bringing up the grade. Plus, the student had to attend mandatory Saturday make-up school, which was an extra twenty bucks per day. However, students didn’t receive class instruction during this time. They had to just sit in the cafeteria all day reading and being bored. They couldn’t listen to music, nap, or have their phones. It was simply a detention hall.
My first course of action was to call the school principal to discuss the circumstances of our daughter’s suspension.
The principal explained, ‘Your daughter should have kept her mouth shut. The fight wouldn’t have happened if she did.’
I responded, ‘My daughter was only defending herself.’
The principal replied, ‘And she was suspended for fighting back. It’s our policy.’
‘What was she supposed to do?’ I asked.
‘Your daughter should have covered her face and waited for help to come,’ the principal snottily replied.
I tried arguing with the principal, but she wouldn’t hear me out.
‘Take your complaints to the superintendent,’ the principal said, ‘I’m done speaking to you.’
My wife and I went to the superintendent of schools for the county and met with him and his director of curriculum.
The superintendent told us, ‘It is policy to give a failing grade for missing more than nine days of school.’
‘So let me get this straight,’ I replied, ‘If my son who is about to graduate with honors, does all of his homework, and is a member of a national leadership program missed ten days of school, he would get all F’s?’
The superintendent replied, ‘Yes. Your son needs to be in class or he’ll fail all of his classes.’
I calmly said, ‘Well, the policy is unreasonable.’
‘If you’re going to yell and raise your voice, we can end the meeting now,’ the superintendent said.
I didn’t lose control or raise my voice. It was just a tactic to throw me off balance and end the meeting.
Then, my wife stepped in to protect our children.”
Pathetic School Policies Part 2
“My wife called the Virginia Department of Education to speak with the state director about this incredibly unfair policy.
The state director told us, ‘There is no such policy about students being given an F for missing school. I recommend you bring this up at the next public school board meeting.’
So we did. The school board ignored us, then they blocked our email addresses so we couldn’t communicate with board members.
As a final precaution, the school board blocked us from attending all future meetings, which was against the law. Then, they fired my wife who was a substitute teacher, and they prohibited the other teachers from speaking to her. We were now black sheep in the community. If the school wanted to play this game, my wife and I could, too.
My wife built a website where we documented everything the school did wrong for the public to see. We posted video interviews with students and parents who were hurt by the school’s archaic policies. All of which, got us banned from school grounds.
We sent Freedom of Information Act requests on all communications regarding these issues and our case. We researched the number of students impacted negatively by the school’s policies and published our findings online. We found out hundreds of students had been hurt by the policy over the past four years.
Imagine being an A student, ready to graduate at the top of your class, winning scholarships to top schools, then missing ten days over a six-week grading period over something out of your control. Getting all F’s, losing your scholarships, and destroying your academic career and future earnings, simply because of a ridiculous local school policy.
My wife tried speaking to school board members individually, but they had been advised by the school’s attorney to avoid us at all costs.
Instead, my wife recruited parents to run for school board seats in the next election. We won three of those seats, defeating the incumbents. Then, we spoke to the leading news media for the region about the lies from the superintendent. This caused the new school board to look into the behavior of the superintendent. They launched an investigation and found numerous issues with his handling of public funds. He was fired and a new superintendent was hired. He appointed my wife as chairperson of a committee to develop a more appropriate school policy.
All of our children graduated. The foster daughter in the story managed to graduate with average grades, but the whole situation made her hate school from then on. She lost respect for the school and its leaders, and couldn’t wait to get away from there.
The daughter is married now and has a family of her own. She learned how to be a ‘momma bear,’ like my wife. The moral of the story is, never mess with a ‘momma bear’ or they will go full grizzly on you.”
Despicable Bus Driver Part 1
“My child’s school called about his absences, and they threatened to report the absences as truancy. I lived in a suburb, and my son went to school in the city with a special education department and an in-house psychiatric team. If his bus didn’t arrive or he missed it, it wasn’t feasible to get him to school in a reasonable time.
Every day, I would make sure he was ready and outside waiting for his bus fifteen minutes before it was scheduled to pick him up. We lived on the border between two school districts, so many buses drove through our neighborhood, not just my child’s.
One day, I was able to stay with him for his morning pick-up instead of rushing off to work. Lo and behold, the bus never arrived.
I called the school and explained, ‘Hey, my child is going to be arriving late. His bus did not show up this morning.’
The school had us call the bus depot and report the issue. It was winter, it had snowed, and two-hour bus delays confused the bus system. Our school district had one policy on snow delays, but his school technically was a part of the city’s school district, so the policies didn’t always match.
When I called the bus depot, the dispatcher explained, ‘We were there, but your child wasn’t outside.’
‘Impossible,’ I replied, ‘I was standing outside with him fifteen minutes before he was scheduled to be picked up. He has seemed to miss the bus a lot lately, has the bus schedule changed or something?’
The bus dispatcher replied, ‘Huh, how strange. There wasn’t a bus delay today, and your child was scheduled to be picked up at a specific time. Your child is picked up at the corner by the private school, right?’
‘No, he gets picked up at the corner by our house,’ I responded.
The dispatcher, confused, replied, ‘Hold on just a second and let me check the bus GPS.’
Then, I figured out what was actually going on.”
Despicable Bus Driver Part 2
“At this point, I thought the dispatcher meant to put me on hold, but they pressed the wrong button. I heard them call the bus driver and my child’s aide’s cell phones, but they both went straight to voicemail. He called the aide once more, and she finally answered the phone.
The dispatcher explained, ‘Hi, I just got a call from a parent, and they are claiming their child was skipped at the bus stop. Did you stop at their intersection?’
The aide responded, ‘Yes, we stopped there. The child wasn’t outside.’
The dispatcher replied, ‘You did? How strange. Can you explain why your radio is off, and the GPS is showing you have been idling by the nearby private school for the past thirty minutes? Can you also explain why you were at the child’s bus stop twenty minutes early, and only waited for less than one minute for him to come outside?’
The aide never responded.
The dispatcher continued, ‘You need to go to the bus stop, pick up the child, and get him to school. When you are done, you and the bus driver will come to me and turn in your keys. Looking at the GPS record, this isn’t the first time this has happened. You’re being suspended, and there will be a pending investigation.’
The dispatcher hung up with the aide, and asked me, ‘Ma’am? Are you still there? The bus will be there in five minutes, if not sooner. We are so sorry about this.’
I took my son outside and made sure the bus showed up, and it did.
My child climbed on board, and the bus driver ripped into me saying, ‘It’s not like your son will ever get a job, I don’t see the big deal if he misses some school. Honestly, he doesn’t even need to go.’
I laughed at the driver, took my phone out, and called the bus dispatcher once more.
I explained, ‘Hey, my child is on the bus now. The bus driver is saying derogatory things about my son and claims my child doesn’t need school, which is why he hasn’t been picking my child up.’
‘’Ma’am, I am so sorry,’ the dispatcher said, ‘A new bus will be there shortly. Have your child exit the bus.’
Needless to say, the bus driver and the aide were both fired. I didn’t know it, but our child was the only student who rode this bus, so the aide and driver figured they could get paid for doing nothing. They didn’t skip my child’s bus stop every day, but they started getting lazy and doing it more than once a week.
My child was thirteen years old at the time, and he had just lost his father. The school thought his missing the bus was a delayed grief response mixed with teen rebellion.
I’m glad I figured out what was happening before it was too late.”
“The School Learned To Never Mess With The Wrong Mother”
“This happened years ago. My daughter was in first grade, and we lived in Texas. It was always hot, and the average daily temperature was in the high nineties.
One day, I received a call from a local after-school daycare program.
The daycare teacher explained, ‘I heard you do free legal work for children, and I knew I needed to give you a call. Children are arriving at the after-school program after regular school hours nearly sick. They are dehydrated and cramping, and each child has told me the same story. They aren’t allowed to have water as a punishment while at school because of their allegedly unfit performance in gym class due to the outdoor heat.’
I was shocked, and I had a total fit!
I replied, ‘Of course, I will take the case. What school is doing this?’
When the daycare teacher told me which school, I felt my stomach drop. To my surprise, it was my daughter’s school!
I talked to my daughter and asked, ‘Is this true? Do they not allow you to have water all day?’
My daughter cried, ‘Yes, mom! The teachers don’t allow us to get water. I feel so sick after gym class.’
I was livid. What if a child had a health condition and couldn’t participate in gym class? The child would be denied water? The entire situation was awful!
The next day, I went to my daughter’s school and demanded to see the curriculum.
The gym teacher asked, ‘Why do you need to look at the curriculum? Everything is fine.’
I replied, ‘Because you aren’t allowing children to have water! You expect them to have gym class in the outdoor heat, become upset when they don’t perform well, then deny them a basic necessity!’
The gym teacher simply shrugged off my statement.
I got eye-to-eye with the gym teacher and threatened, ‘Deny these children water again, and I promise you will leave the school in handcuffs.’
I had court the next day, but I received a call from a friend asking why the gym teacher was forcing my child to chug water on the track.
‘Have the other children had water?’ I asked my friend.
‘No, it doesn’t seem like it,’ my friend replied.
Now, I was even more furious. Did the school believe saving my child and leaving the rest to fend for themselves in the heat was okay?
I couldn’t even begin to explain the fit I threw at the school. I took the issue to the school board, and it was resolved with a seven-page water policy for all physical education students in the school district.
The policy began with, ‘Water will never be used as a reward or punishment.’
The school learned to never mess with the wrong mother again.”
“I Was Less Than Happy With Each Statement I Heard From The Principal”
“A while back, I was called to my daughter’s school because of a fight. This happened when my daughter was in elementary school.
I was told my daughter had ‘decked,’ another classmate, but no other explanation was offered. When I arrived at the school, I asked to speak to my daughter privately before speaking to the principal.
My daughter explained how a male classmate had tried to pull her dress up and swat at her inappropriately. All the while, the male classmate was smiling at her and acting as if it was an act of ‘appreciation.’
Then my daughter stated, ‘So I punched him and he fell.’
I returned to the principal and asked, ‘So, what seems to be the problem here? I don’t understand how my daughter did anything wrong.’
‘There is a school policy about fighting, and all fighting requires an immediate suspension,’ the principal harshly replied.
‘That is unacceptable. My daughter was defending herself and her modesty!’ I yelled.
‘Well, boys will be boys,’ the principal said halfheartedly, ‘Your daughter should view it as an act of appreciation.’
Even worse, the boy’s father was there, too. The father was proud about having such a ‘manly,’ son, and believed my daughter was in the wrong for not understanding. I could hardly believe it! The father was setting a terrible example for his son.
Needless to say, I was less than happy with every statement I heard from the principal and the boy’s father.
I told the principal, ‘Listen, my daughter is staying in school and will not be suspended. Her record shows that she had merely defended herself against unwanted advances. If anything, the boy needs to be suspended for inappropriate actions! If anyone has a problem, I’ll be calling for a face-to-face meeting with you, the teacher who observed the incident, both my daughter and the classmate, and the boy’s mother and father.’
I was told the situation would be handled, and I went home to await my daughter’s arrival.
From this point on, I became an advocate against such action within the school. My daughter, with children of her own now, is most proud of my stand, her actions, and what she can teach those in her life now.”
The School Desk Drama
“Back in the eighties, both of my sons were in high school.
During a showing of a film in class, my younger son had his feet on the unoccupied desk seat in front of him. Instead of telling him to put his feet down, the teacher grabbed the back of his seat and yanked him back hard enough that the edge of the desk slammed into his ribs, bruising them.
When my son told me what happened after school, we took him to the emergency room to ensure the injury was documented. The next day, I went to the school about this issue. I had the hospital photos and report in hand, and I ended up in an office with the teacher, the assistant principal, and my son.
The school acted like it was no big deal, and tried to claim my son was in the wrong in the situation. How could my son have been in the wrong? The teacher was the person who wrongfully hurt him!
I replied, ‘There was no reason to hit my son with a desk! You could have asked him to put his feet down!’
The teacher screamed in response, ‘I never laid a hand on your son!’
‘You liar,’ I replied, ‘Let’s go out to the parking lot. I have a baseball bat in my car, I promise I won’t lay a hand on you!’
I was getting loud and I was a pretty big guy, so I’m sure the teacher and principal were getting nervous about what my next move would be.
The school called the police, and when the officers arrived, both my son and the teacher explained their sides of the story. The officers looked at the emergency room reports, and they called for a higher-ranking officer to come in. The new officer arrived, looked at the medical report photos, and asked me if I wanted to pursue a lawsuit.
I replied, ‘Yes. I would like to pursue a lawsuit against the teacher.’
The officer then read the teacher his rights, handcuffed him, and placed him under arrest for assault. The teacher ended up losing his education license.
Long story short, don’t hit a student with a desk. And if you do, simply apologize. An apology was all I wanted, but neither I nor my son ever received it.”
“I Went To The School And Let Them Have It”
“A couple of years ago, my son’s school demoted him from third to second grade without consulting me first.
The school did it because my son behaved better for his second-grade teacher than for his third-grade teacher. He was neurodivergent with ADHD and had a short-term memory processing issue. I didn’t deny there weren’t behavioral issues with my son, but my main problem was the school didn’t talk to me first.
My resolution? I went to the school and let them have it. If they were going to demote him or hold him back, they needed to speak to me first. If there was a behavior issue, it wasn’t going to be solved just by putting my son with a teacher he liked at the moment.
What would happen when my son stopped liking her because she told him, ‘No,’ one day?
We needed to work on it together, and there needed to be due process. The school couldn’t just arbitrarily re-enroll him at a different grade level.
I asked the school to call a meeting so I could discuss it with the teachers and principal. All of the sudden, they weren’t interested in having a meeting. Sketchy, right? Moving my son down a grade level was just something they wanted to do to temporarily make their lives easier. It would have helped me if they explained what was going on with my son, and I could have gotten him help and counseling.
After this situation, I learned to always keep tabs on my child’s teachers and the school system.”
“I Wish The Teacher Would Have Taken The Problem Seriously”
“I was a foster parent to two little girls who came from a negative home life.
When the oldest girl began kindergarten, she came home daily and told me about a class bully who took her belongings, tripped her, pulled her hair, and hit her.
When I tried to talk to the teacher about it, they simply stated, ‘Your daughter is not the only child having issues with the bully. Children these days are lacking social skills.’
At this point, I involved the principal and vice principal.
In a meeting, I told the principals, ‘My child has already lived in violence for five years with her biological parents. Under my watch, she won’t be experiencing violence anymore. I would be happy to get a lawyer involved if necessary.’
The principal hurriedly replied, ‘There’s no need to get a lawyer involved. I will sit in on the teacher’s class for a few days.’
On the second day when the principal watched the class, the same little boy hit another child in the face. The child was removed and did not return to the class. If he would have returned, I would have gotten a lawyer involved with the school.
Ever since this happened, I learned the importance of keeping up with my children’s school and being my child’s most important advocate. I wish the teacher would have taken the problem seriously.”
“I Never Got An Apology”
“A couple of years ago, my family moved from the United States to Germany. Upon moving to Germany, my daughter entered the third grade.
In Germany, on the first day after the summer break, children bring their report cards from the previous school year so the teachers can check if the parents had signed them. We didn’t know about this policy, so my daughter didn’t have her report card.
When the teacher came to my daughter’s desk and she didn’t have the card, she explained to the teacher, ‘I didn’t know about the policy. I just moved here from the United States.’
The teacher replied, ‘I don’t believe you for a second. I think you were too dumb last year, so the school never gave you a report card.’
Of course, I accompanied my daughter to school the very next day with her all A’s report cards and demanded an apology. I never got one.
Our first school experience in Germany was a real doozy.”