“Everybody’s talking trash these days, so why not keep quiet?”—Dennis Rodman
Any teacher worth their chalkboard is ready for disrespect from students. After all, they’re just kids—but what happens when the unruly party is the kid’s parents? Ideally, parents should be more mature than their children but, alas, that’s not always the case. Teachers college did not prepare tomorrow’s educators for this kind of stuff.
Reddit asked teachers to share the most outrageous thing they’ve seen a parent do. Hey parents: parent-teacher interviews are not the place to speed date. Also, when a teacher or school lends a kid money for clothes and supplies, it’s for the kid, not their mom. Cringe as the world’s beleaguered teachers indulge us with their trashiest encounters with parents.
42. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Mum used to be a teacher, and this happened to someone she worked with.
Child was strangling another child, teacher wasn't strong enough to pull the child off of the other child, so ended up having to thump the child until he released, child ended up rather bruised.
Parents of the child doing the strangling decided they wanted to try and sue the teacher for hitting their child.
Result=teacher who prevented their son from murdering someone suspended from work until the case gets rejected from court.
41. Can’t Put a Price on Good Health Products
Work at a school where over 80% of our population lives under the poverty line. I keep a cabinet full of hygiene products for kids to take. Deodorant, lotion, Chapstick, hair gel, feminine hygiene products, shampoo, conditioner, those kinds of things in travel sizes. Being a teen is hard enough without having to cope with hygiene problems due to lack of funds at home.
So one day the entire thing is empty. Odd, I refill the cabinet and two days later all of it is gone again. Refill with the last of my supplies, catch the kid in the act of sweeping everything in his bag. I stop him, take him in the other room and talk to him. He told his mother about the cabinet.
She ordered him to bring her everything he could get. She was returning the items to Walmart for store credit to buy cigarettes and beer. I told him to tell her the cabinet is locked now. I bought a bike lock, so it was not a lie. It was sickening.
The lock was only on until the student left. It has been on the honor system for 15 years, over 1,700 students and only one abuser of the system; I call that a good record.
40. One Drink to Take the Edge Off
Mother came to a school sports day swigging from a bottle of wine. We always felt desperately sorry for her daughter, because whenever she returned to school following a holiday at home (this was a boarding school), we had to wash all her clothes because they reeked of cigarettes, and this poor little girl was easily the most unhappy child I've ever seen.
39. Not A Ride-Along Situation
Wreck their car buying drugs on the way to pick their child up from pre-school, and then try to get another parent to cover for them with their estranged husband.
38. I Can Quit Anytime I Want
I used to work in a daycare. On my first day, in a new room with 15 two-year-olds, I picked up a little boy and noticed he had dropped something through the neck hole in his onesie. I pulled it out and it was a lighter. When we returned it to the mom and told her where we found it she laughed and said, "This kid gets his hands on EVERYTHING!"
Poor kid also sounded like a smoker every time he laughed or coughed.
37. Not Up to Dress Code
My mom's a teacher and in order to talk to a parent about a child that was struggling due to the school environment, she arranged to meet at the parents’ house. Keep in mind this was scheduled in advance with a set time.
The dad answered the door 100% naked and tried to have the meeting with him naked on the front porch.
My mom doesn't do anything outside the school anymore.
36. Too Busy to Care
Well, 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 was cath’d.
She required 3-5 diaper changes a day. 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 Mom was probably selling the extras. I ended up just buying her diapers. 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. She had lice constantly, and oozing bed bug sores. Mom told us to "F off" when we’d call and tell her to take her to a doctor. Found out later in the year that she also had scabies.
We offered to administer the medications and creams at school. Mom told us to go to hell. Girl would come to school in men’s underwear, XXL shirts and size 16 pants. She was eight.
Finally discovered that her nine-year-old sister was changing her diapers and dressing every day, and sister couldn’t find any other cleanish clothes to put on her. Moms response: “I’m busy. I have to get to work in the mornings.”
Final straw was when the nurse discovered what appeared to be STD warts while changing her diaper one day. Nurse made (for the tenth time) another CPS report, but principal insisted that we call home and report our findings. Grandma found out, tipped off Mom, and Mom appeared at the school 15 minutes later, snatched up the kids and disappeared. Investigators showed up 15 minutes later, but Mom was already long gone. Never saw the kids again.
Staff raised money to get an eight-year-old girl a winter coat (live in rural Canada). Girl came to school the next day in a T-shirt in the dead of winter, her mom wearing the brand new, child-sized jacket.
For those wondering—the principal confronted her about it and mom told her to screw off and anything her kids owned belonged to her and she could do what she wanted with it. Children’s Aide was called and that student lives with a very nice foster family now.
Mother was rail thin. Looked like the stereotypical junkie archetype. The sleeves were three inches too short, didn’t cover most of her stomach and she could do it up properly.
34. Gotta Let It Loose
The cafeteria, which is used for parent meetings, has tables with fixed bench seating. You have to swing a leg over to sit down.
Parent wore a short skirt and was commando. She also got up several times.
33. Interviews Are Tough on Everyone
My cousin is a teacher and she once had a parent come to a parent/teacher conference extremely drunk and right before the meeting, tried to pull out a bag of coke and start doing lines.
Police were called and so was CPS. The school also had to call 911 once because a parent overdosed in the parking lot while waiting to pick up their kid, and the poor kid was too young to understand why their mom was slumped over in their car.
32. Who Needs Help?
My mums’ story, a girl and her parents were being interviewed before starting high school.
The primary school this girl went to notified the high school that the girl was autistic.
When my mum tried to discuss how they can best cater to the girls needs the parents interrupted.
The parents sent the kid out of the room.
Says to my mum “She’s not autistic anymore she grew out of it.”
The girl is clearly autistic, and the school was trying to help.
31. You Can Do This
Not a teacher, but my mom is, she teaches the visually impaired. There are these two students of hers whose parents (mainly the mom) tell them that they can’t do anything, and won’t be able to do anything, and all they do while at home is sit around because their mom makes them.
However, my mom has been teaching them for about four years, trying to get them to believe in themselves, it mostly has worked, but recently, a different teacher told them that they can’t do anything as well, so that has been a huge setback for them.
I just think that it’s really trashy for a parent to tell their kids that they can’t do anything even though they can do many things that other people can.
30. Skills They Could Use
I work in a school in one of the most socially deprived areas of the UK. At parents’ evening, we give every parent a printout of their child's grades in each subject, alongside their target grades.
Last year, we had the parent of an 11-year-old respond to this printout by shouting, "What the heck am I going to do with this? I can't freaking read can I?" This was in front of other children, parents and her child's teachers.
People seem to be torn on seeing this as just trashy, or more as sad as if I might be picking on her a bit. Just to be clear, I'm not making fun of her. A quick laugh behind closed doors at things like this seems to give a bit of levity for teachers in schools like mine. It can be tough. But I think the majority of people who work in these areas do it because they want to help conquer some of the social inequalities or issues that people are facing. Whether that's for pure humanistic beliefs, their own ego, or just because it feels like you're accomplishing something. Maybe a bit of each.
Regardless, I feel sympathy for the woman in question, and her daughter. One of the aims of my job is to help prevent people reaching adulthood without the necessary skills to thrive. Her behavior doesn't change that and doesn't make me assume I'm a higher class of person than she is, just dealt a different hand I guess.
29. Sell Your Kid’s Future
I volunteer at after school programs to help tutor.
I had a student earlier this year. Good kid. Loves math, loves computers. Wants to be a programmer when he grows up. He's really struggling in seventh grade because he has no computer at home. We have to do his online assignments at the program, but we only meet twice a week.
I pulled his mom aside and explained how he could be doing MUCH better in school with some kind of PC and internet access at home. She says she can’t afford a computer. I tell her that for $200, I could piece all the parts together myself for a fully functional set-up that would be sufficient for at least the next few years. I'd even build it with him, so he could learn some extremely valuable information. I'd even front her half, but she'd have to pay me back. She says no way, still way out of her budget.
Mind you, while we're having this conversation, she's barely looking up to speak to me. Too busy scrolling thru the gram on her iPhone X.
I say screw it, I'll do it myself. Scrap together all of the parts I can for free, I only had to buy an HDD. The set-up was really out of date, but still worked. Gave it to them. Kid was thrilled.
About a month later, I notice he's trying to finish all his homework at the program again. I ask his mom if everything’s OK with the computer. She says it broke down. I say OK, what happened? I'll pick it up and try to fix it. She says she had to throw it away. I pull the kid aside and ask him. He tells me she sold it to her cousin for $50.
I really don’t like calling people trashy when they're apparently stuck in a culture of poverty. Maybe she needed that $50 for the light bill, or groceries. But at the same time, she spends three times that amount on her cell phone each month, so it really just broke my heart. It was like she's doing everything in her power to ensure the kid has no chance at a decent life.
28. Indoor Voices
I called a parent about a behavior issue. I must have been on speakerphone, because I heard the kid come home. Parent starts screaming at and whaling on the kid.
Cussing, calling them all sorts of names. I don't even know if the parent remembered I was on the phone. I hung up the phone and went to my principal. Teachers are mandated reporters, don't hit your kids in front of a teacher.
27. Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Our vice principal is a former Army Sergeant who’s built like a tank. He’s well liked and an amazing role model in a community where many of our kids don’t have a good male role model.
On several occasions, I’ve seen mothers step well over the line and make very sexual comments to him directly in front of their kids. I mean in plain sight of their own children and in ways the kids notice. He’s always very respectful and often asks another staff member to join him if he sees one of these parents coming to talk, but it’s pretty damn trashy when it comes to some of the innuendo I’ve overheard.
These aren’t jokes either. They try to get handsy with him too.
26. Got An “F” in Charm School
This one was pretty funny. A parent brought out a pack of sweets or something and her son asked, "Can I have some?" To which the mother responded, "Where’s your effing manners? How about effing please?"
I facepalmed so hard.
25. Not All Romantic Geometry is Fun
Mom slept with her daughter's adult boyfriend. Kicks daughter out of house. Daughter goes to live with dad. Mom tries to say dad molested daughter.
Real piece of work.
24. No Look-Sees
There is a parent who would walk through our closed campus every single day. As teachers we are supposed to stop her because it’s a closed campus. Every single day she would pretend she didn’t know the rules.
We always knew it was the same parent because she let her younger children who weren’t in school yet ride around on their scooters ahead of her. One day she was walking through with a stroller. She was not paying attention and her freaking baby started falling out of the front of the stroller. I saw four teachers jump up to help the kid and the mom didn’t even acknowledge.
23. The PTA Is No Excuse for PDA
The other one happened directly to me during parent teacher conferences. I was meeting with a mom and her live-in boyfriend about her son.
At the end of the conference, I asked if they had any questions I could answer for them and he started asking me personal questions and flirting with me.
I deflected and told them I had more conferences. But other teachers have told me that parents have hit on them before so it’s probably pretty common.
22. When It Rains, It Snows
Not a teacher but a college administrator. Parents will call in very frequently when there is an issue with their student’s living situation. If they’re jerk (frequent) I quote FERPA to them.
Best example—I had to bill a student for around $600 in damages to their room at the end of the year. Mom called me, pissed off about this, because they had tried to repair the damages (poorly). She ended up yelling about this over the phone, and I reminded her that her son was 22 years old and that I could only talk with him about this.
Kid calls me back the next day and apologizes for his mom being a jerk to me and asks if I’m able to just BS his mom when she calls back.
It’s a weird line of work.
Some vocabulary I’ve learned for other folks dealing with this: snowplow parents.
21. The Deadbeat Dad Diet
Not a teacher but my dad once worked as a groundskeeper at a primary school. Worst thing he ever saw was a guy dropping his daughter off to school and before she went through the gate, her dad went through her schoolbag and took out all of her packed food and left eating it essentially leaving her with nothing to eat that day.
Dad was so angry he said he wanted to knock the guy out right then and there for leaving his child with no food for the day, but he ended up going straight to the principal to tell them what he witnessed so it could be investigated properly and get the kid help.
20. Pick On Someone My Size
Last year I taught fifth grade. I had a student for one block a day that was a little mentally unstable. She developed a crush on another girl and began writing her a ton of creepy notes. The school was handling it but apparently, the second girl's mother didn't think that was enough, so they drove to the first girls bus stop in the morning and started yelling and threatening her. They basically had her cornered when the bus driver showed up and had to pry this raging mom away from the student.
19. Someone’s To Blame
Blamed me for their child's suicide attempt.
Their kid wasn't even coming to my class, and the suicide attempt was apparently not bad enough to hospitalize her or get her the help she needed. The parent confronted me with this in the fall, by the spring we had a meeting with us, the kid, and my administration, and the parent came around to the fact that their child was essentially gaslighting them and using me as a scapegoat. But blaming someone who had spent maybe five hours with their child in a group setting for a suicide attempt was really low.
18. Overdue for Pickup
My mom is a middle school teacher. Just about every day, some bad parent doesn't come pick up their kids because they literally forgot about them or were passed out drunk/on drugs.
Then the poor child gets sent to daycare, which is not free, then the parents complain about the charge. My mom has had to bring random kids home before, who barely know the way home. It's really sad.
17. Uber Carpool: For Kids!
Not a parent, but we had a babysitter who would roll up about two feet from the curb in her ancient dented-to-hell gold van, have a preteen in the back slide the door open, and then scream “Get in!!!” at the tiny five-year-old she was picking up (the poor girl started crying every time).
16. Just a Blue Tuesday
When I taught in lower West Virginia, a Mom showed up to a fifth-grade sports event meth’d out. Wish I could have said this was atypical.
15. A Return Policy Is Not Discipline
I had a kid whose aunt was his legal guardian. I told her that he was acting up in class and not doing work, so she threatened to put him back into foster care if he didn’t pull his stuff together.
14. Welcome to the Thunderdome
Parent witness to an event not a teacher. My kid's very first day of school she’s four-and-a-half. In the gym hall, all the kids and parents are in lines according to class and one by one the teachers come and take them away.
Our group was last to go. As we are waiting for a guy storms in clearly drunk starts shouting at a woman in the line “why didn’t you tell me it was now! I’ve been looking everywhere etc. etc.” He slapped the mum.
Another dad in the line pulls drunk dad away and pushes him. He falls down on top of another kid.
That kids mum screams, drunk starts to run out, squished kid’s dad chases him. He made it out of the gym but then got caught and the snot kicked outta him in the school reception.
Everyone is freaked out, kids are crying then the very happy teacher who is completely unaware comes in. I start googling prices for private schools.
13. Pride Before Safety
My kid went to the preschool run by the public-school system. One day, I saw one of his classmates'—every student was either three or four—mom open the front passenger door. Kid climbed in, and they drove off with the radio cranked and the little girl dancing on the seat leaning against the dash board. The back seat was totally empty, not even a car seat.
The next day, I offered the lady my other kid’s seat, I'd buy another one on the way home. She told me to screw off and drove away with her daughter again standing on the front seat. I let the principal know, and we watch the car drive of into traffic towards the highway.
Day three, I've called the police, but they'll only come out of I call during the pickup. Great, that'll only take 30 minutes for them to. After mom drives off with daughter dancing on the seat again, I tell the principal I'm reporting the mom to Family Services if she won't intervene.
On day four, a guy shows up in her car and comes nose to nose with me, without even so much as an introduction. He says if I keep harassing his woman I'll regret it. I tell the principal, nothing she can do. They stopped bringing the kid to school after that.
12. What Happens On Parent Teacher Night, Stays In Parent Teacher Night…
When I taught English in China, my good friend and colleague started sleeping with one of the mothers, a woman 15 years his senior and married. I taught her daughter and would often hear stories about how they snuck around behind the husband's back.
11. Meet Me on the Playground
I work in a middle school with an elementary school next door. Two girls from my school were arguing all day and told their parents about it when they got out of school.
The parents proceeded to call their families up to the elementary school and fought in front of a bunch of kindergarteners, knives and everything. Cops were called, I think some of the parents are still in jail for gun possession/parole violations. One of the kids was pulled from our school and put in foster care.
10. Points for Precise Langauge
When I was a sub, I had to sub a fourth-grade class for two weeks.
The kids had to write a story about their family and read them to the class.
The smartest girl in the class wrote about the dog her dad gave her, except every time she mentioned the word "dad" she said "My dad, sorry I mean the sperm donor.”
I asked the office about it, her mom is crazy AF.
9. Big Love
Once while waiting for parents to arrive to a parents evening / conference, my colleague pointed out one of my students' father sitting in the waiting area. He said “You see the woman sitting next to him, well that’s his wife. And the woman sitting on the other side of him? Well that’s her sister, and also his other wife...”
8. Green Accessories
My wife is a teacher and had a parent show up to conferences with a joint behind his ear.
7. Why Waste a Good Follicle?
Sitting in a parent teacher conference with several teachers and at least one administrator present, the mom plucks a hair from her head and starts flossing her teeth with said hair.
6. Easier than Tinder
I’m a male elementary teacher. I’ve had some sketchier parents make weird comments to me. Small rural area. There are some poverty and drug problems and I can feel some single mothers staring at me because I have a decent job.
5. Who’s a Good Boy?
During a parent teacher conference, the Mom showed up (late) with a tiny dog inside her shirt, with his little head sticking out between her boobs. When we sat down, she took him out and he walked all over the table we were sitting at during the conference.
4. Brawling is a Family Affair
I’m a high school teacher. One time, a parent of a child who had been going back and forth with another child on social media came to the school to confront the other girl. The mom ended up bursting into my classroom to try to fight one of my ninth grade girls, sending us into a lockdown until the woman was removed by the police.
I want to make clear that the systems in place have failed this woman, her family, and her friends at basically every level and I can understand why she felt like she didn’t trust any systems to handle the situation.
By the end of the school year, this particular mother was helping chaperone events and was a good role model for our young people. Her daughter was one of the best performing students in the grade.
3. A History of Violence
Used to work with teenagers who had behavior problems in a special school. One day, a student of mine had a disorganization. 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 ten minutes; if longer, we would call the cops.
The mother arrived eight minutes later. A woman in her late forties with bleach blond hair wearing a mini skirt and a crop top. She 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.
What I meant by "the apple does not fall far from the tree" is that I understood from then on why this kid was violent and angry all the time. Often, the parent's behavior is reproduced by the child.
2. Meal Ticket
I taught elementary school, I had a third grader who was well behind all the other children in reading skills. He seemed capable of reading, but just never put forth any effort. So I would pull him aside every chance I got and tutor him, it was paying off, he was progressing nicely.
Then his mother showed up one afternoon mad as hell because the boy was learning to read. It took me a while to figure out what she was screaming about, it seems she was receiving disability payments because her boy was "retarded" (her words) and incapable of reading, if the case worker found out the boy could read the payments would stop.
Luckily, she caused such a commotion that the assistant principal got involved and she was threatened with arrest. But the poor little boy was scared whenever I tried to teach him.
1. Homework For Dinner
Woman I used to babysit for worked in a school as an assistant or something in Toronto, she always told this story about how the class rabbit would go home with a new kid each weekend. They kept trying to avoid giving one kid the bunny for the weekend because it was clear his home life wasn't the best. But they finally caved and let him take the rabbit home.
The parents killed the rabbit and ate it. They killed the class bunny and fried it up for dinner. They weren't even ashamed when they told the teacher what happened on Monday. Said they were out of groceries or something.
I wish I had more details, but I haven't seen this woman in a few years, so I only remember the basics of the story. This incident happened around 20 or more years ago so I'm not sure about the aftermath. I had almost completely forgotten about it until I saw this thread and was reminded of this. As far as I remember, the family was very clearly trashy and irresponsible and that's why the school didn't want that kid to take the animal for the weekend.