Not everyone has an easy time with names.
It takes some people longer to remember names than others.
Then too, if someone bears a striking resemblance, or spends the majority of their time with someone else, it can be easy enough to mistakenly call them the wrong name.
This can be forgiven with a simple apology, even if it gets increasingly frustrated for those mislabeled.
Redditor groveclover was surprised to hear that his daughter was being called by the wrong name, and that this had been an ongoing occurrence.
The original poster (OP) was even more surprised, however, by the response he received from the school after setting the record straight.
Wondering if his behavior was out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for correcting my daughter’s teacher about her name?”
The OP explained how after noticing his daughter’s teacher continued to call her by the wrong name, despite being corrected several times, he felt he had to step in, only to receive a surprising note from the school.
“My 7 year old daughter was doing virtual school in our living room recently.”
“I heard her teacher address a girl named Kelly a few times, which stuck out to me because my daughter’s class is only about 15 kids and I know them all by this point in the year.”
“A couple times more and I realized she was calling my daughter Kelly.”
“My daughter’s name is Keeley, pronounced Kee-Lee.”
“So after school was over I asked her if that had been happening all year in this teacher’s class and she said it had and it really annoyed her.”
“I asked her why she hadn’t corrected the teacher if it annoyed her so much, and she said she had repeatedly at the beginning of the year, but the teacher kept calling her Kelly, so eventually she gave up on reminding her.”
“I sent the teacher a quick email explaining the misunderstanding but got no response.”
“This teacher teaches a special subject, think music, gym, art, or language, not just one grade level, so my daughter will be in her classes for the next several years, so we couldn’t just wait it out.”
“And how moments like these are handled now will set the stage for how my kid deals with similar situations on her own in the working world.”
“I encouraged my daughter to come to class early or stay late again, thinking maybe she hadn’t heard or understood her last time, so a quiet one-on-one would be better.”
“She got to the class early and she told her very politely that her name was ‘Keeley like really, instead of Kelly like jelly’ and that people often get it confused so she just wanted to clarify.”
“So class starts and sure enough she gets called Kelly again almost immediately.”
“So there’s only so much self advocation a seven-year-old can be expected to do.”
“I just walked over and said ‘Hi, this is Keeley’s Dad’.”
“‘Her’s name not Kelly’.”
“Hard E. Sorry for any confusion.”
“A few hours later I had an email in my inbox ‘inviting’ my wife and I to a parent-teacher conference with the vice principal.”
“The long and short of the meeting ended up being the school feels that while the teacher probably should’ve learned her name, that the real problem is she feels I challenged her authority by correcting her in class and that the names were ‘similar enough’ for it to ‘not have warranted such drastic action’.”
“That surprised me.”
“I couldn’t believe a meeting was necessary, let alone that it cast blame on us.”
“I can’t tell if I’m being that annoying ‘my kid matters most’ parent that my grandmother, the school teacher, always complained about or if the teacher should just learn her damn name because that’s a basic part of her job.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring;
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for correcting his daughter’s teacher.
Everyone agreed that the teacher was deserving of being called out, particularly as she had been reminded multiple times, and that the vice principal should have been more sensitive to the repercussions that being called by the wrong name over and over again could have.
“I had a teacher do that to my daughter and she only corrected herself when I started addressing her by the wrong name.”
“Yeah NTA.”- ky_biker
“I think that meeting was unnecessary and probably was escalated by the teacher.”
“She could have spoken to you directly without the principal.”
“As an educator who teaches kids English from foreign countries I make it a point to learn their given names even if they informally adopt an English name.”
“I teach kids your daughter’s age and it makes them feel valued when I call them by name.”
“Keeley is not a difficult name.”
“And if they say it’s close enough to Kelly then they can definitely learn it quickly.”- littleteacup1976
“Challenge her authority over YOUR child’s name?”
“She can f*ck right off.”- ObsidianUnicorn
“If she didn’t want to be called out publicly she should have listened when it was still privately.”
“I would not have left that meeting with the blame on me when the teacher couldn’t be bothered to take the private correction seriously.”- frozen_hell66
“Next time request a meeting with the Principal, not assistant principle as that is her senior boss.”
“Scare the sh*t out of all of them.”- nofilter78
“NTA at all!”
“Good for you correcting her!”
“Seems like she just couldn’t be bothered to learn the correct way to say her name!”
“And what a pretty name too!”- ouibuglet
“NTA your daughter has tried to correct her several times and the teachers ignored her.”
“If the teacher doesn’t want her authority challenged, she should be a better teacher.”- Fainora
“Hahaha ‘drastic measures’?
“OP did their due diligence to send an email and have the child arrive early to remind the teacher.”
“If this teacher needs an email from parents, a reminder from the child, then a reminder from the parent again.”
“This teacher needed all of these reminders to learn the proper pronunciation of their student’s name, otherwise they would’ve just kept screwing it up.”
“No drastic measures were taken.”
“The teacher and the school just feel like idiots and they want to take it out on someone else.”
“Of course NTA and that teacher and principal just flat out suck.”- aciddippedteeth
“You were teaching your daughter to stand up for herself, and you also showed her that when she needs your support, you’re there.”
“It’s outrageous for a vice principal to suggest that you correcting the pronunciation of your daughter’s name after she had already tried multiple times herself AND you had tried via email, is ‘drastic’ action.”- adequicated
“WTF I can’t believe the school.”
“And I’m shocked that the teacher was willing to die on that hill, basically admitting that she can neither pay attention to detail when reading names nor listen to a student when they politely and discreetly correct her.”- KatJen76
“This sounds like a form of mental abuse.”
“No one forgets a name for that long of a period of time and many corrections, nor forgets it within minutes of being corrected AGAIN.”
“The school is condoning this disrespectful, belittling, and abusive behavior, preferring to take the easier course of blaming the parent.”
“Forget the vice-principal; take it up with the principal.”
“If they still put the blame on you and your daughter, send a complaint to the school board.”
“You may want to make sure to give a detailed account of this ongoing behavior.”- TrekkerOne
“Learning a student’s name is the basic requirement of a teacher.”
“If she can’t handle that simple task, she needs to find a new profession.”
“Your daughter tried to correct her, you sent her an email, if she didn’t want to be embarrassed about her lack of basic ability she should have gotten the hint the first five times.”- stupidsheepevrywhere
“You and your daughter both tried several times to address the issue, both in person and via e-mail.”
“For the teacher to continue getting it wrong shows a lack of respect for a student.”
“I’m a teacher, and if I did that I would fully expect to be called on it.”
“And I know, without a doubt, that my principal would be firmly on the parent’s and student’s side.”-sagessa
It must have been rather humiliating for the teacher to be corrected by the OP in front of her entire class.
As or more humiliating, one would imagine, as the OP’s daughter being called the wrong name over and over again.
One only wishes the vice principal thought of this before reprimanding the OP.