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Parent Called Out For Saying ‘I Don’t Care’ After Learning Daughter’s Bully Recently Lost Her Father

Photo by Ilayza Macayan/on Unsplash

Figuring how to keep your kid safe and healthy is an ongoing life battle for a parent.

It can be a dicey situation when they encounter their first bullies.

Kids bullying kids is always a tough topic.

Case in point…

Redditor gotiroselyn wanted to discuss their story for some feedback. So naturally they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for saying I don’t care when told why someone bullied my daughter?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My daughter (11) has had a rough year.”

“She started middle school and it was not an easy transition for her.”

“What made it worse is a bully she’s faced, we’ll call her Olive.”

“Olive has made fun of my daughter nearly every day.”

“Over her hair, the way she talks, certain interests, her weight, etc.”

“I have reported it, as have my daughter, but Olive is smart and knew to do it when no adults were present or could hear, this typically happened at lunch.”

“Switching schools is unfortunately not an option right now.”

“But we will be moving this summer due to unrelated reasons so we hope that’ll help.”

“Recently, however, Olive started getting bolder.”

“She put gum in my daughter’s hair during class.”

“The teacher saw and sent her to the office, my daughter to the nurse.”

“Luckily they got the gum out without cutting it.”

“The school finally took it seriously and Olive got in trouble.”

“I also insisted on a meeting so this could get resolved. “

“They finally listened all this time later.”

“In the meeting, I laid it all out.”

“How awful Olive has been, the nasty things she has said, my daughter crying often.”

“And the school’s absolute negligence.”

“Olive’s mother was profusely apologetic but then added ‘She’s had a tough year. Her father died and I feel like she’s acting out.'”

“I said ‘Frankly, I don’t care. Your daughter has harassed mine for months now and has had zero consequences. Get your s**t together so mine isn’t traumatized.’”

“The mom began to cry.”

“The principal said Olive and my daughter would receive counseling (separately).”

“On top of Olive receiving a day of in school suspension.”

“Due to where we are in the school year, classes can’t be switched but they only have two classes together and both teachers have agreed to switch seats so they’re on opposite sides of the room.”

“My daughter and myself are pleased with the situation.”

“I was telling a friend about the situation and she called me heartless for what I said to Olive’s mom.”

“I pointed out that Olive didn’t care what my daughter has been through (she also lost a parent a few years ago) or the pain she was going through.”

“My daughter didn’t bully anyone.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA. This is information that may explain Olive’s behavior.”

“But it doesn’t excuse it, and there should still be consequences for it.”  ~ explorationofspace

“And honestly, it may help OP to think of their feelings as directed to the school rather than the grieving child.”

“The understandable explanation for OP’s indifference to his daughter’s bully’s well-being is that the school has ignored the issue.”

“Failed to intervene in the interest of both girls…”

“And worn OP down to the point that they really don’t have the patience to do anything but be their own kid’s advocate.”

“There could have been an outcome where the school intervened earlier.”

“When OP had more energy to spare to condole with the other family.”

“And the kids involved both learned about grief and its effects in a compassionate, holistic way.”

“I hope the teachers and administrators involved understand that they prevented that outcome with their own indifference to the well-being of two students.”  ~ yet_another_sock

“Yeah, but the question isn’t whether or not the bullying should be allowed to continue or excused.”

“Olive was suspended and the girls were separated.”

“The question is was it OK to yell at Olive’s mother.”

“Olive is dealing with the emotional trauma of losing her father by directing her anger (a normal part of grief) at OP’s daughter.”

“This is an unacceptable way of handling her anger and I think we all agree that needs to be made clear to Olive (while recognizing this little girl is not a monster).”

“OP is dealing with the emotional trauma of watching their child suffer and directed that anger at Olive’s mom in saying some truly hurtful things.”

“This is still the idea that my hurt means that I don’t have to consider your feelings.”

“There is no indication that Olive’s mom was aware of the situation.”

“She was apologetic and there is no suggestion that she protested the suspension/consequences or stated that her daughter’s behavior was ok.”

“She just wanted OP to know the context.”

“And OP dumped all of that anger on her.”

“If that type of lashing out isn’t ok for an 11 year-old, it’s definitely not OK for an adult.”  ~ Electronic_Toe5282

“OP’s daughter might be an ‘easy target.'”

“That is to say the bully feels she poses the least threat when bothered in contrast to another kid that might hit or otherwise act out and get attention.”

“It sounds just like my experience at that age. “

“Basically my mother raised me to well, and when I did as supposed to; tell the adults at school. Nothing happened.”

“Which mean the bully did it without consequences.”

“OP is luckily more demanding than my mother who let the school get off scot free and let the bullying continue because they placated her instead of her demanding they do something.” ~ W3irdSoup

“NTA. Her dad’s death while horrible is not your daughter’s problem.”

“She acted out. Consequences, therapy, and get their crap together.”

“It sounds heartless but the kids need it and OP’s needs to be safe.”  ~ tango421

“NTA. If she was lashing out at everyone that would be something that maybe was a result of her dad dying, but she isn’t doing that.”

“She is targeting YOUR daughter.”

“It isn’t your job to help this girl find healthy coping techniques for her grief and it isn’t your daughter’s job to be the outlet for this girl.”  ~ JoBenSab

“This kid clearly has an unhealthy fixation on OP’s daughter.”

“I hope therapy and the school’s awareness helps stop the bullying, but making Olive’s mom feel good about the situation isn’t OP’s job.”

“Would it be great if they had a kumbaya moment, absolutely, but I can’t fault OP for being harsh. NTA.”   ~ a**holemanager

“Doesn’t matter how old someone is, your trauma is never an excuse to traumatise someone else.”

“If Olive’s mother knew she was ‘acting out’ and did nothing.”

“Either the kid’s so off the rails mom feels she can’t control her, or she doesn’t think there’s any harm in what Olive’s doing to OP’s kid.”

“She needed a wake up call. NTA.”  ~ Latvian_Goatherd

“NTA- I grew up being bullied for being gay and EVERY SINGLE one of my bullies had a ‘reason.'”

“I had a horrible time in school and had/have 0 motivation for post secondary after all the s**t I’ve endured.”

“Protect your own child, worry about your own family, no one else will, and your child can get lost in the mix otherwise.”  ~ designerhoe

“I will say this every time it fits.”

“I don’t care what your trauma, situation, mental illness is if you use it as an excuse to hurt others.”

“That sucks that her dad died, but you’re right that it’s not a reason to cause trauma to your daughter.”

“At the first sign of bullying, they should have gotten that child help and protected your daughter. NTA.”  ~ friendlily

“NTA. The responsibility shouldn’t be on the victim or the victim’s family to sympathize with their bully/abuser.”

“It doesn’t matter what you are going through.”

“It may explain, but it shouldn’t excuse traumatizing, bully, or hurting someone else simply because you don’t know how to process and handle your own feelings.”

“It’s up to Olive’s mother to get her the help she needs and ensure that her daughter doesn’t harass or hurt someone else in the process.”  ~ Such-Awareness-2960

“NTA. My dad died when I was young and that didn’t give me a free pass to be an a**hole.”

“That being said, the girl needs therapy/an outlet to grieve because I get being angry at the world but that doesn’t give you a right to be cruel.”

“You have the right to check the girls mother… good job protecting your daughter OP.”  ~ Decent_Wasabi_7345

“I wouldn’t say a**hole because you definitely were emotionally charged as anyone would be about their kid getting bullied.”

“However I do think it is kind of a social norm that when someone says they’ve lost a parent in the last year you say I’m so sorry and then explain why you still have a bone to pick with the person.”

“So NTA, but definitely curt.”  ~ Thebeavs3

Sounds like Reddit feels OP did right by their kid.

There could’ve a bit more nuance, but no parent is perfect.

Sorry to everyone involved.