Teachers and parents need to have some sort of working relationship in order to ensure the success of their child. But boundaries for teachers are extremely unclear and everybody always seems to have a different opinion on what is appropriate and what is not.
Reddit Imaginary_Special126 found himself in an awkward situation when his fiancée showed herself as extremely jealous due to interactions with his son’s teacher over text message.
Unclear about how to handle this, he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for some help in understanding.
“AITA for being mad that my fiancée reported my son’s teacher?”
Our original poster, or OP, and his fiancée have a son who is very talented, and has caught his teacher’s attention.
“So my son has this teacher, Carrie. I think she teaches English and art but only art for my son. My fiancée thinks she has a thing for me.”
“I just think she likes interacting with me because she studied in the same field as me before switching to education. So we have that interest in common and always have something to talk about whereas with my fiancée she just has general small talk.”
“Sometimes Carrie asks my son about me. Sounds sketchy when put as an isolated type of thing but apparently she also does it to this girl Sue in my son’s class who’s parents are chefs and a few other kids so it’s not a big deal. To me at least.”
“The thing that supposedly pushed my fiancée over the edge is that Carrie occasionally texts me. To understand this, you need to know that my son is great at art and draws comics which are pretty funny and creative.”
“Carrie picked this up and texts me links to competitions and the sorts.”
OP says these texts are harmless, but his fiancée doesn’t believe him.
“Fiancée knew about this but preferred it being sent on email but my emails get flooded so this is the easy method.”
“Literally her messages will read ‘Hi Clint, came across this for your son.’ and I’d respond with thanks. No inquiry on how my or her day was or any of that.”
After a text on Christmas, OP’s fiancée was none too happy.
“She sent one of these messages on Christmas and my fiancée lost it because it’s inappropriate to be texting me in the first place but even worse to do so on a holiday.”
“I mean she apologized in the message and the contents was going time limited so I get it but to make my fiancée feel better I suggested she sends these to my fiancée.”
And his fiancée took greater action.
“She understood and agreed but my fiancée decided to email the principal to formally complain about her behavior.”
“I’m not even mad. More like annoyed that she making a big fuss out of this and risking an awkward environment for our son.”
“I told her this and said she overreacted but it seems I’m TA [The A**hole) to her for being ‘mad’ at her. Aita?”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
All said OP had a duty to be very clear and straightforward with all parties about what those texts involved.
“YTA if you don’t follow up with the school to correct any lies or half truths.”
“You say yourself there’s nothing inappropriate about what’s going on and if your fiancée wants to complain about exactly the situation that’s taking place, fine.”
“But if she’s making stuff up or exaggerating to try to get this woman fired, and you know about it, you’re punishing this woman for taking an active role in the lives of her students and risking her job over it.”~daisiesanddaffodils
“I agree. YTA and so is your fiancé.”
“It is so sad. I still remember when coming up to final exams in high school, the best few teachers gave us their personal numbers and would say, call anytime, even if it is 3am, if you need help in studying or figuring out how to do things.”
“They were so dedicated and I know many took them up on their offer. For me that it took the pressure off just knowing they were available which in itself made a huge difference.”
“These were both male and female teachers. It is people like OP’s fiancé that made this no longer possible.”
“But OP must have seen this coming from his comments and it was his own requests that caused this.”
“The teacher was unaware what was going on in his own home. So the fact he did not intervene earlier makes him an AH.”
“He needs to get his butt to the school and support the teacher. No matter what happens from here, the teachers reputation will be permanently tarnished and she will have learned to NEVER be so proactive and help with another child again.”
“And it goes without saying his fiancé is a controlling, selfish and jealous AH.”~30flips
“My mom teaches kindergarten and the parent’s have her number, but under normal circumstances she’ll text fairly rarely.”
“Only if they’re trying to schedule a conference, the parent texted her a question, etc.”
“Now that they’re doing online school she texts with/calls them more often and vice versa but that mainly consists of stuff about their internet connection/kid struggling to stay focused/etc.”
“And that’s just because the kids are little and a lot of parents are home with them.”
“NTA, OP, but make sure you’re maintaining boundaries going forward.”~terrible-aardvark
“The teacher is also not the a**hole. If you read the comments:”
“The teacher sends OP these messages because he asked her to. She mentioned it aloud and he asked her to send him information on any further ones.”
“OP states in the OP that he is the one who prefers text to e-mail, saying his e-mail is swamped.”
“Also in the comments, he gets at most one text a month. Only the opportunities for son he asked to be sent to him.”
“So this parent asked a teacher to send them specific information and preferred a text. She sends that specific information to the parent in the medium they requested.”
“This happens only once a month. There is no other conversation over text.”
“What a sl*t! She must want the D! . . . Come on. It is incredibly unfair to treat this teacher this way.”
“Fiancée is way over the line in threatening this woman’s career because she’s upset OP asked the teacher to send him info over text.”~TheHatOnTheCat
Still the responses varied.
Everybody has a different opinion on what is and is not appropriate for a teacher to do.
“NTA. Your fiancée is being dramatic and a bit immature. It sounds like this teacher cares a lot about her students.”
“You never once told her you felt uncomfortable with her communicating with you via text. I text parents in my class if I need to convey something quickly.”
“Teachers tend to reach out to the person who’s most responsive.. so my guess is mom isn’t.”