There are always kids who fool around a lot, trying to be the center of attention. They crack jokes, make faces and show off to try to impress other kids.
But some kids behave this way at school during class, even if it gets them in trouble or irritates their classmates.
Kids with limited self-control may have a hard time resisting the urge to act out. If the thought enters their mind, they act on it without thinking of the impact or consequences.
While these disruptive behaviors are annoying for the teacher and other students, is it ever OK for another student to address the disruptive classmate directly?
A parent debating that issue with her daughter’s school and the “class clown’s” mother, turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for refusing to make my daughter issue an apology to the class clown and telling the mother her daughter is a brat?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“My daughter Ava, 14, is a good kid in general. She gets good grades and is pretty quiet at school sticking to her friend group and not causing issues.”
“I was surprised getting a call today that I needed to pick her up since she got in trouble at school.”
“Basically what happened was the class clown, Mia, was messing around dancing/singing during class for no reason. My daughter had enough and told her to shut the f*ck up, no one likes her and she is the reason no one enjoys school.”
“A student recorded the whole thing. Mia ended up crying and to the principal’s office they were both sent.”
“The principal wanted my daughter to give an apology to Mia. I told them no and that we are leaving.”
“This started Mia’s mom telling me her daughter needs an apology.”
“I told her that her kid is a brat and she should learn how to behave in class. That if she wasnt annoying as all hell my daughter wouldn’t have snapped after 5 months.”
“She called me a jerk and my daughter is iffy if she should apologize, so I am making this post.”
The OP added:
“The teacher was trying to get Mia back to her seat, this was in the middle of a lesson. She was trying and Mia was ignoring her and kept on going.”
“It wasn’t working, she had no control of the room. I saw the video, Mia was completely ignoring her.”
“I’m sure that mom was getting calls from the teacher. I’ve sent an email before, I know a few other moms had. Nothing changed.”
“Ava told me she couldn’t deal with her anymore, that she put up with her for 5 months and she snapped. That everyday she would ruin something, that she can’t have a peaceful day at school.”
“This isn’t a one off thing, this was five months of grinding her down until she snapped.”
The OP summed up their conundrum.
“I told the class clown’s mother that her kid is a brat and my daughter won’t be apologizing. I may have went too far.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors were pretty divided with some saying Ava’s annoyance justified her lashing out (NTA).
“This had been going on for months and a 14yo stopped it with words. Bravo…give the kid an award.”
“Maybe its unacceptable but it got the job done. The teacher was obviously ineffectual and that’s probably due to her having her hands tied ( she probably cheered in her head and said a Thank You Jesus).”
“Admins/parents have cockblocked basic discipline big time, the kid should’ve been kicked out of class the first time she acted up.”
“Back in my day, maybe getting the yardstick from Sister Mary Stigmata may have been painful, but usually just the threat kept the class in line and moving in the right direction. NTA.” ~ Jeheh
“A key factor in why so many kids and young people have no respect is that society has been forced to sugarcoat criticism and ‘be gentle’.”
“I’m sorry, but F-ck that. All kids that attend school have a right to learn and a kid who is consistently allowed to disrupt an entire class of 20 – 30 kids is hindering the academic progress of all those kids, many of whom want to learn.”
“Enough with the pandering. When I was in elementary and high school, you did the wrong thing, you were told off, sent to the principal’s office and/or your parents were called in.”
“You sure as sh*t were not allowed to constantly cause disruptions to the class.”
“Was it the teacher’s job to keep the class in line? Yes! But these days, even teachers are nailed to the wall for reprimanding and, God forbid, disciplining somebody’s precious little darling.”
“Maybe we need to stop reprimanding the kids and start with their parents.”
“OP, you are NTA and I commend your daughter for putting the class clown in her place by giving her a swift kick of reality right in the a**.” ~ Ok_Smoke_1056
Others felt the exact opposite—Mia and the school were fine, but Ava and the OP were wrong (YTA).
“YTA. The teacher was attempting to handle the situation. What your daughter said was nasty and certainly not helpful.” ~ definitely-lies
“YTA. Your daughter didn’t just snap at this kid, and she was cruel to her. She could have stopped with the STFU. Instead, she went on to meanly bully her.”
“You had a golden opportunity to teach your kid not to bully other children, and you blew it.” ~ HoshiJones
“YTA. I’m shocked at everyone saying OP is NTA. Maybe you should teach your kid to address a problem with someone directly instead of waiting until they snap and curse out another student and say cruel things to them in front of the entire class.”
“Yeah, Mia is annoying. If OP spent five months being annoyed by her, then she had five months to go to Mia and explain to her that her behavior was bothering everyone else and ask her to stop.”
“Like, if she grows up and goes off on a coworker like this, she’ll get fired. If she goes off on a partner like this, she may not have a relationship anymore.”
“Teach your kid how to handle this sh*t like an adult, not let it fester and then explode.” ~ rainblowfish_
“YTA. At minimum the language she used should be apologized for, it’s not appropriate to speak to others like that nor is it a productive way to achieve any type of end goal or solution.”
“Your daughter used violent language and you gave her the green light. Would you be OK if another child said those things to your kid?” ~ Tasty_Needleworker13
But the most compelling cases were made by those who felt everyone behaved horribly (ESH).
“Mia for repeatedly disrupting the class.
“The teacher and school for letting it go on for this long.
“Your daughter for being wayy too harsh with the comments, all that wasn’t necessary.
“You for not telling your kid (at least in private) that the comments were out of line. Defending her to the principal is one thing, but acting like that’s completely OK? Nah.”
“You’re not entirely wrong in this scenario, but in general, you sound like one of those parents who thinks their kid is an innocent angel who can do no wrong. If she was, she wouldn’t be telling someone to shut the f*ck up.” ~ Away-Bass-4736
“ESH. Literally, everyone, no one in this story comes out looking good.”
“Mia obviously *should* sit down and shut up. She’s being disruptive and taking away from the learning environment.”
“The staff at school and her parents need to recognize that Mia *is* being a problem, and they need to take action.”
“Your daughter took it way too far with the ‘no one likes you’ comment.”
“You didn’t recognize that your daughter did take it too far and should apologize for that.” ~ Big_Falcon89
“Mia is obviously in the wrong here for being a brat, but it’s not OP’s daughter’s job or place to tell her off. She’s not the teacher, she has no business CUSSING at another student regardless of how long the behavior has gone on.”
“OP said it’s lasted 5 months. Have they talked to the administration about it at all within those 5 months? Or did her daughter just decide to snap, potentially making things worse?”
“By OP not making her daughter apologize, she is sending the message that yelling and cussing is an appropriate way to talk to peers and communicate your needs.”
“I’m going to assume this is not an elementary school, in which case I would argue that it’s important to teach your children the PROPER way to respond to situations like these.”
“And how OP and her daughter handled it was not very mature. OP got called in to talk about the situation, and instead of trying to have a constructive conversation, decided to double down and continue to refuse to apologize. HUGE ESH.” ~ HeinousHarpy
“Here’s the thing… no one knows for sure that nothing is being done by the school. There is a thing called confidentiality.”
“They literally cannot tell other parents what actions are being taken to address a specific’s students behaviour. They could be putting in behavioural strategies, consulting with the school-based team, putting her on a waitlist for an assessment, counselling etc…”
“They cannot tell other parents or students any of that. ESH.” ~ vancitygirl27
“ESH. Shocked by people talking like OP’s daughter is an aggrieved party. Ava also disrupted class to insult her classmate and make her cry.”
“Mia might owe an apology to her teacher for not listening, but Ava owes both of them an apology.”
“Between the girl disrupting class with a dance and a song, and the girl disrupting class with personal attacks, it’s clear who the mean girl is.” ~ atomosk
“ESH. The class clown, for being disruptive during class.”
“The teacher, who should have shut the disrupting behavior down.”
The principal, who should have addressed both sides of the issue.”
“Your daughter, whose response was over the top, cruel and vindictive.”
“And you, for completely blowing a teaching moment.” ~ cachalker
As some pointed out, telling someone to be quiet in class is vastly different than adding “no one likes you.”
Neither of the kids behaved appropriately, but none of the adults did either.
There needs to be a solution, but this wasn’t it.
The OP added an update.
“Some stuff has happened since I posted this. It got out what my daughter did to the other parents and they have sent me email receipts of how many times they tried to get the school to do something about Mia.”
“Most of the parents are pissed Ava had to go to the principal’s.”
“The principal has sent an email about conduct in the classroom and a new policy that if kids disrupt a class they will be taking action. Don’t know what that means yet.”
While OP sounds like they feel vindicated, hopefully, everyone considers all the consequences of their behavior and finds better solutions.