If you’ve ever been in charge of a classroom, no matter what age group, chances are, you’ve run into some wack-job parents. As teachers often say, “the parents are usually worse than the kids”
As you’d expect, thousands of teachers take to Reddit to share stories about their ridiculous interactions with parents. For your viewing pleasure, we’ve assembled the strangest, most unbelievable accounts of teachers who witnessed parents saying the most ridiculous things imaginable.
Here are true stories from teachers who experienced utter insanity when dealing with the parents of their students (and tried their best not to lose it!).
1. Mama loves long, filthy fingernails!
This student (14 male) had long, filthy fingernails. Just gagged me to sit next to him and help him in his assignment, I agreed but with one condition, that he cut his long filthy fingernails.
After an aid helped him clean and trim his nails, his Mama comes screaming into to school because his long nails made it so much better when he “scratched mama’s back.”
2. How young is too young?
I am a middle school teacher and I had a student inappropriately touch me. Unfortunately it happens. I filed a complaint and it was sent to HR. The boy was transferred out of my class but the mother complained to the school that it was my fault because “I looked too young to be teaching middle school.”
I’m 29 by the way. I started teaching when I was 24 and never had a parent speak to me like that, it was frankly astonishing.
3. Well, when you walk into a bank there are no signs saying, ‘Don’t rob the bank.’ It’s just understood
A few years ago I gave my students an assignment to write a two page report on a mathematician. I even gave them a list of about 45 to choose from. One kid turned in his paper and it was clearly copied & pasted. The links from the web page he copied & pasted were even still underlined on his paper!
I called his mom to explain the situation and to let her know that I would have to write him up for plagiarism. Her response was classic: “Well, you didn’t say in the instructions that he couldn’t plagiarize. So get your facts straight before you mess with me or my son”.
4. Beauty over brains, eh?
I’m a Science Teacher. I had a student who always wears makeup to school at a young age. There’s really nothing wrong about it but the problem is that she always get low scores in exams and failing grades. I once advised her to study harder to recover from failing grades, but she just ignored it, so I thought contacting her parents would be the best way to help her, unknowingly, her Mom just made it worst, and told me: “She doesn’t have to be smart, she has to be pretty. She will find a rich man, marry him and never use chemistry again.”
Well, she wasn’t smart and she wasn’t pretty, so there goes that.
5. Blamed me for their kid’s foul mouth
I’m a second grade teacher and let me tell you, the kids aren’t an issue, it’s the parents! So I was collecting homework and came around to collect from a little boy who didn’t have his homework. I asked where it was and he told me to “F— off.” Keep in mind, this kid was 7-years-old.
So naturally, I called the mother and told her what her son had said to me in class. The mother cut me off before I could even finish my story and shouted at the top of her lungs, “What did YOU SAY to him to make him so mad?!”
6. But ma’am, this is a preschool graduation party
Every year, my school organizes a dinner for the “graduating class” of preschoolers. The night’s entertainment is provided by the student’s (singing, dancing, comedy, etc). One parent demands her daughter be allowed to perform her music.
This woman looked a little too old to have a child in preschool, so I asked what her child’s name was. This sent her into a complete rage and she snaps back, “you must be a complete fool if you don’t know who my daughter is. She had a song on the radio once!” Come to find out, this lady lives a few towns over and she was trying to promote her 33-year-old daughter’s new pop CD at a preschool graduation! What is wrong with people?!
7. Homework can wait, Cat’s don’t!
A student of mine didn’t do her homework and told me that she couldn’t because her mom made her go buy a new cat that night and she wanted to play with the cat instead and her mom said it was okay. This story checked out.
A phone call later, Mom says, “Yes, I was too tired from playing with the cat so I didn’t see the need for her to do her homework. I’ll just do it another time.”
8. “I don’t want my son to be a robot”
I had a student once who was this chubby kid. I swear, this kid was really bad. He refused to do any work, so he was failing all his classes. One time he ‘wrote’ a research paper and left all the blue Wikipedia links in it. I obviously gave him a zero.
The parent sits there listening to us telling about her child’s behavior and she responds with “Well, I don’t want him to be a robot! And I don’t want him to act like the other students. Let him do what he wants!”
I’m so glad to be done with that school.
9. My mom made me do it
A professor’s job in college is pretty much just grading endless papers. With that said, it’s usually easy to spot a plagiarized one. One of my students turned in work that his mom bought from someone else! My student blamed his mother.
His mom had this to say in their defense: “I BOUGHT the paper. I PAID for it with my money. He didn’t STEAL it – how is that not fair? I paid someone to write it, they sold their work and he turned it in. It’s YOUR job to grade it.”
10. Tell my daughter that you love her every day
A parent asked me if I could whisper “I love you” to her five-year-old daughter once a day, because the child was reportedly not getting enough attention in class. Her exact words were “Please don’t forget to tell her you love her EVERYDAY, I want her to feel so special and loved among other kids!”
After some incessant nagging, I did it and immediately felt creepy and sinister. But I have no choice, so yeah I’m doing it everyday!
11. One parent accused me of “framing her 7-year old son”
After 10 years of teaching at an overcrowded school in a rough neighborhood, I’ve got plenty of stories (some good, some bad). This one takes the cake… I showed a mother CCTV footage of her son stealing my wallet. Pretty convincing evidence. Right?
She didn’t seem to think so. The mother said that we had “used our digital editing department to superimpose her son’s head onto another students body.” We didn’t even have a library, let alone a digital editing department!
12. Complaints everywhere!
I have a ton of crazy parent stories, but these two are the most memorable of the bunch… One of my 4th grade students was given detention for attacking a fellow student, and his mom had this to say: “My son is having a big birthday party this weekend with a lot of friends, a jumping castle and a magician. So he doesn’t need you stressing him out right now. You and the rest of the kids in that school better leave my son alone.”
Later that year, the SAME parent complained because it rained on the school trip to the zoo. “I wouldn’t have given him permission to go on the trip if I had been properly informed it might rain.”
13. More English in French Class, please?
I had a parent complain that I was speaking too much French in class. And received a call from another parent too, saying that “I was really upset at you for making my son respond to questions in French.
Which would be a legitimate concern if it weren’t a high school junior level French class. I’m still questioning what kind of parents they were to this day.
14. The mother doesn’t want her son to be smarter than her
I’m a math teacher. One of my students always excels in math, or shall I say, he’s the smartest in the class! Being his teacher, it made me so proud! And I can’t wait to tell the good news to his parents, for sure they will be proud too! So I called her mom immediately and told her the good news!
Her mom doesn’t seem happy about it, and said: “I don’t think my son should have to learn those fancy equations. I never learned math in my life and I don’t want him learning them and thinking he’s smarter than me.”
15. Postpone the test for your son? No way!
My class were about to take a unit test on physical science. It had been about a month since the last test, so I provide them some notes and study guide.
The next day, my student arrived at school together with his Mom, then immediately approached me “Please postpone today’s test. My son left his backpack at school yesterday so he wasn’t able to study. Don’t stress him out. Be considerate.”
Perfectly reasonable, right? Nope.
16. I’m just doing my job, Sir!
I am in the middle of a short presentation to about thirty or so parents on Curriculum Night. I’m talking about Google Classroom, which my science course uses for in and out of school activities and homework.
This father interrupts me and goes, “Do you really expect my son to finish all that homework? He has football practice every night! I don’t think you teachers understand that students have lives outside of school.”
17. “Oh he’s just being a boy! What can you do?”
I worked at a preschool for a brief period of time, and there was this one kid who was undisciplined. He would scream when he didn’t get his way, he disrupted class for everyone else, and he’d scream for the entire 2 hour duration of nap time. He’s constantly hit other kids, as well as us teachers. Not only that, but he was constantly destroying things around the facility.
His parents thought it was hilarious. “Oh he’s just being a boy! What can you do?”
We tried so many times to tell them what was going on but ultimately there’s not much teachers can do if the parents aren’t backing it up at home.
18. Ever been accused of causing autism? I have…
I am an elementary school teacher and suspected that one of my students may be autistic. The kid wouldn’t communicate well at all, had issues with using the bathroom, and showed other classic signs of autism. I had a conference with the mother and explained that we would like him to be evaluated, but the mother refused and said that “If my son did have autism, you are the one who caused it.”
I have learned to handle those situations much differently now. Being accused of causing autism will do that.
19. When did Cat become Devil?
I was an art teacher and was showing them how to draw a Cat. I told my students to follow the steps and show it to their parents when they reach home.
One parent called me and got pissed because she said that “I was teaching them how to draw the devil.” I don’t know what cats did to that parent to think that they’re devil. Lol.
20. Parents, It’s never okay to hit your kids
At a parent/teacher interview I was explaining to the parents that their son sometimes had difficulty staying focused and needed reminders to stay on task. This was really a big issue. The dad gave me the most surprising answer: “You need to beat my son to make him listen to you. He won’t respect you unless you hit him so I am giving you permission to hit my son. You won’t get into trouble”.
Some people should really not be allowed to have children.
21. I was literally speechless!
A few years ago, I had a student who kept disrupting class. He would curse, flip his peers off and make other inappropriate gestures. Eventually I got sick of it.
I called this kid’s father, we will call the kid Billy, because Billy had been bullying another student. When I told the father that Billy was harassing another student and calling him names like loser and nerd, the father replied “Well, is it true? Is the other boy a loser? I don’t think my child will call him a loser if he’s not one.”
I didn’t know how to respond.
22. This parent thinks that being a musician is just a waste of time
I’m currently a piano performance major and teach piano part-time. During a trial lesson, one mom said, “I really want my son to learn piano but I don’t want to buy a piano. It’ll be a waste of money.” I explained that she could buy a cheaper electric keyboard.
She then proceeds to tell me, “But I don’t want to waste too much money on this small hobby. I don’t want him to become a musician and waste his life away.”
It hurt as I sat there, shocked by this insensitive woman, telling a musician that her life is a waste. Thanks, lady.
23. Trouble-maker Parents
I had a parent who forgot to pack their kid a lunch. They called and told me I needed to leave the class to go across the street and buy the kid some snacks. I then refused, and told the Mother that I can’t leave the class, but they can tell their nanny to get her kid a food instead.
The mom then yelled at me “You are the worst teacher ever! I’m going to the Principal and I will make sure that you will be fired!”.
Also, I was almost physically attacked by the father because I gave their kid a C in reading.
24. Tell me who your parents are, I’ll tell you who you are
I had a very verbally explosive student in my class. He would often yell obscenities and insults at me and his classmates while I taught. At one point he yelled out during class that I was fat and my haircut looked really bad.
At parent–teacher conferences I brought this up to the parents and they were upset and told me “You should get pregnant, give birth and raise a kid before you give any advice about raising children”.
I no longer questioned where the poor attitude and language was coming from. As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
25. Excuse me Sir, but I ain’t promoting witchcraft!
I’m a middle school orchestra director. Kids are playing a cool piece in a minor key that is called “Incantations”. They’ve had it for weeks and we’ve already tested on it and everything. It is UIL season so they’re getting ready for contest.
One parent emails me and then immediately calls me telling me that he’s a minister and gives me the definition of “incantation” like I don’t know what it means (it’s basically a magic spell), and tells me I’m promoting witchcraft and demonic stuff and all that. He tells me that I am exposing the students to Satanic beliefs and that he doesn’t want his daughter to even HEAR the piece. Not just that, he also banned her from being in the room while we rehearse.
26. A parent removed his daughter from my class after he found out that I had children
I’m a teacher for 7 years, happily married and a mom of two. I once had a parent ask to have his daughter removed from my class. Why? He found out that I had children and he wanted a teacher that was ‘devoted to her job’.
Seriously, no need to dig so deep into a teacher’s personal life. And having a children won’t affect teacher’s quality and performance. These kind of parents are driving me cra-a-a-a-a-zy.
27. “I don’t really care if he learns anything. How can he get an A?”
One ridiculous interaction that sticks out was when I taught AP literature and I called home to a parent whose son was failing my class. It was his senior year and I was bending over backward to help him stay on track but he just didn’t want to do anything, literally, he wouldn’t even keep his head up for a movie.
When I expressed concern that he wasn’t learning anything, the parent’s response was, “I don’t really care if he learns anything. How can he get an A?” Well, he should study hard to get an A. Grades don’t work like magic.
28. Some parents are just too much!
I had a parent come in and ask me where our cleaners were from to decide whether or not she trusted that her daughter wouldn’t get her stuff robbed at school. I explained that we didn’t use an agency, all the cleaners were employed directly by the school, and shouldn’t judge them so quickly.
“No”, she clarified, “Where are they from?” She was quickly invited to leave my office.
29. So should I be the one to adjust, Ma’am?
I had a 4th grader with a ton of potential and an awesome personality. He was one of my favorite students, but chronically unprepared and always behind on homework.
His mom comes in for conference, and tell me in all seriousness, “Can you accept me on Facebook, in case I have a question about homework, so you can respond right away? It’s easier for me and can you not put time limits on tests? My son doesn’t like to be rushed.”
30. A ‘Questionable’ Parent
One of my students always had the habit of coming late and missing school and obviously she’s failing the class. I contacted her parents to let them know about the failing grades of their daughter in school and the chronic absenteeism.
After telling all my concerns to her Mom, I got a surprising answer: “She doesn’t have a bedtime” Along with “Of course, if she’s tired in the morning I don’t force her to go to school. She’s better absent than going to school and just sleep there.”
Not all parents are bad, just some are.. questionable?
31. But Ma’am, I just followed what you said
I used to teach a science summer camp and I had a parent after the first day tell me that she would pack her son a snack “because I don’t allow him to have processed sugar, I’ll pack him something healthy. Please don’t let him have the sugary snack.” Okay fair enough.
So one day of our camp we actually make home-made tootsie rolls and the kids eat them at snack time. The little boy asked if he could eat the one he made, I told him to eat the snack he brought and ask his mom later. The lady chewed me out and screamed for 30 minutes about how I made her child feel left out and I singled him out.
I quit after that summer.
32. The parent is begging for help after attacking me
She told me, “My son is only allergic to shellfish, so I know for a fact he is not slow!” And then sent me several messages on Facebook after her son was suspended later on and failing all of his classes, begging me to call her and help them.
33. Grieving the loss of a pet for 6 months
A parent last year apologized for her son’s attendance (45%) because she’s had him in counseling for the past 6 months to help him cope with the loss of their hamster. 6 months of therapy. For a hamster.
Never in my 19 years as an educator did I ever feel guilty for feeling zero sympathy for a chronic attendance excuse. I understand that pets are part of family too, but 6 months of absence? Nope. I won’t tolerate that.
34. Fake School Bus?!
My brother and I teach ESL abroad. A few months ago one of my student’s parents called in a complaint about the color of our school buses (well, school vans – these kids ride silver and blue vans). Apparently her son was unhappy about riding a “FAKE SCHOOL BUS”.
So his mother talked to me and said “Can you ask the school to change the color of the school bus? Or just buy a new ones in mustard yellow? If you can’t fulfill my request, I’ll withdraw my son here, and I’ll tell my friends to withdraw their children from this school too.”
I really don’t know why it became an issue. It can’t even affect their studies, duh.
35. Seating Arrangements troubles
When I taught high school, I moved seating arrangements about once a semester. Keeps them on their toes, forces them to work with other students and breaks up some of those talky groups we tend to get. Every time it happened I got calls about “How dare you move my baby! He wants to sit next to his friends!” By the way, her child does more talking than work, so he needs to be away from his friends.
Other one was: “My little girl needs to sit in the front row. Otherwise she won’t pay attention and get all A’s.” Like seriously folks, it’s a seat change in one period. Unless there is a medical reason that dictates otherwise, your kid will be okay wherever I sit them.
36. These parents are making me sick!
Other experience was when I had a student who had to go to court to finalize his adoption to his Mother’s new husband. They knew beforehand that he was going to be out of school so they requested the homework assignment. I told the boy what the assignment with the instruction. Then I get this email.“Thank you for ruining what should have been the best day of my son’s life. He didn’t understand the homework and I couldn’t explain it to him. So instead of being the happiest day of his life it ended in tears”.
37. “It’s more dishonorable to have bad grades than to be caught cheating.”
There’s been problems in the school where a bunch of parents are buying teachers edition text books and having their kids memorize the answers at home so that they pass all the tests at school (not to mention that they do their homework for them). Us teachers started to suspect this was happening, so we changed around the order of the questions/answers on the tests. Surprisingly a bunch of the straight ‘A’ students started failing every test.
When I had to bring parents in to talk to them about it, one parent literally said: “You don’t understand, it’s more dishonorable to have bad grades than to be caught cheating.” They literally do not understand how this is setting their children up for failure after graduation.
38. Hey! We’re from the same race!
I had a student tell her parents that I was picking on her because I tossed her a piece of candy and she didn’t catch it, so it hit her on her forehead. When that did happen, I apologized and she had said it was fine. You guys should know that before I tossed it to her, I asked her to come get said piece, and she said “just toss it”, and she wasn’t so far away, maybe a few feet.
Anyways, parents come in, call me every name in the book, and I couldn’t care less. What got me fired up was that they called me racist for picking on their daughter because she’s Mexican. I looked at them and said, “Are… Are you serious? Is this some sort of a joke?” And the mom proceeded to say, “Absolutely not. I can tell you’re racist by looking right at you.” To which I responded, “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m Mexican.”
Ridiculous parents. This was towards the end of the year, so I didn’t have to interact much with them after that.
39. Level 999 of Craziness
While working at an all day preschool that was very diverse, one mother was very angry that the class did not say a prayer before eating. I reminded her that the preschool was tied in with the school district and was not a religious center. Also told her that many of her son’s classmates had a different religion than she did. Therefore I could not make the entire class say a prayer, but her son could on his own. But the mother, now yelling, told me I was not respecting her beliefs and other nonsense.
Same mother told me her son should not be allowed to play outside in the basketball area because he hated sharing the basketballs. Unless he could have his own ball the entire recess time he can not be allowed to play out there. Sharing the basketballs just stressed him out way too much.
40. Helicopter Mom
I had a parent who emailed every single day to ask what the homework was. Sometimes multiple times a day to ask what we did in class, the assigned homework and such, saying “You need to answer my emails same-day. I don’t care that you’re on your feet working 8 hours a day, I expect you to read and reply my emails even during class periods. If you fail to reply my emails, I will report you to the Principal for ignoring my concerns about my son.”
Her son was fine, did his work mostly fine and was fine in class, but his mom is a first class helicopter parent. I feel bad for him, honestly, as I think he has a hard time socializing because of it.