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Mom Furious After New Spanish Teacher Refuses To Call Daughter By Her Full First Name

Spanish teacher
Terry Vine/Getty Images

Redditor Sudden-Difference767 has her daughter’s back, and this was exemplified after a recent school incident.

The Original Poster’s (OP)’s daughter likes to be called her full name – no shortenings or nicknames.

In her Spanish classes, teachers usually opt to call students by the Spanish-pronounced version of their name. The OP’s daughter has politely declined over the years.

But recently, the newest Spanish teacher ignored the request.

So naturally, the OP got involved.

After the situation ended she went to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for confirmation that she was in the right.

She asked:

“AITA for not backing down on my daughter’s teachers calling her the proper name?”

She went on to explain.

“My daughter, Alexandra [14-year-old Female], hates any shortened version of her name. This has gone on since she was about 10.”

“The family respects it and she’s pretty good about advocating for herself should someone call her Lexi, Alex, etc.”

“She also hates when people get her name wrong and just wants to be called Alexandra.”

“She took Spanish in middle school. The teacher wanted to call all students by the Spanish version of their name (provided there was one).”

“So, she tried to call Alexandra, Alejandra. Alexandra corrected her and the teacher respected it. She had the same teacher all 3 years of middle school, so it wasn’t an issue.”

“Now, she’s in high school and is still taking Spanish. Once again, the new teacher announced if a student had a Spanish version of their name, she’d call them that.”

“So, she called Alexandra, Alejandra. Alexandra corrected her but the teacher ignored her. My daughter came home upset after the second week.”

“I am not the type of mom to write emails, but I felt I had to in this case.”

“If matters, this teacher is not Hispanic herself, so this isn’t a pronunciation issue. Her argument is if these kids ever went to a Spanish speaking country, they’d be called by that name.”

“I found this excuse a little weak as the middle school Spanish teacher actually was Hispanic who had come here from a Spanish speaking country and she respected Alexandra’s wishes.”

“The teacher tried to dig her heels in, but I said if it wasn’t that big a deal in her eyes that she calls her Alejandra, why is it such a big deal to just call her Alexandra?”

“Eventually, she gave in. Alexandra confirmed that her teacher is calling her by her proper name.”

“My husband feels I blew this out of proportion and Alexandra could’ve sucked it up for a year…”

“…(the school has 3 different Spanish teachers, so odds are she could get another one her sophomore year).”


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 decided: 


“‘My husband feels I blew this out of proportion and Alexandra could’ve sucked it up for a year’”

“She could have, but she shouldn’t have to. Good for you for having your daughter’s back. Too bad your hub didn’t.” – frlejo

“NTA – but the teacher’s reasoning was off.”

“If I went to a foreign country and told them my name was Anthony and they started calling me Antonio, I tell them it was Anthony and that’s what they’d call me.”

“It’s different for a person who has worked hard to be called by their correct name to have it changed than for a person with a generic name.”

“For example. Someone name John goes through life with his name correctly pronounced and it’s fun to be called Juan for an hour.” – MercuryRising92

“ESH, Everybody Sucks Here.”

“‘Converting’ names in a foreign-language class is a common thing (even when it’s a complete swap like Etienne/Steven in French class). It’s not a personal attack or disrespect right off the bat.”

“The middle-school Spanish teacher probably gave in because it’s not worth the hassle dealing with parents who think every kid’s demand must be met.”

“Which honestly is what this high-school teacher probably should have done, for their own sanity.”

“Your husband is right that you and Alexandra are overreacting to the situation. Your email isn’t going to help either.”

“[OP even admitted (in their Judgment Bot response that many people here probably didn’t read) that they realize ‘it’s just for a year and it’s the teacher trying to assimilate the kids in the culture.’]” – RB1327

“I mean, every Spanish teacher I ever had did this. I don’t get the outrage here. Not one kid ever argued about it, usually people just laughed.”

“Yes the teacher’s reasoning is stupid, but it’s Spanish class. They’re just referring to things and people in Spanish. I don’t understand why such a stink was made in the first place.”

“It still helps people in the class to understand how names translate to the other language, even though people will still call you by your preferred name.”

“This is a weird hill to die on. There’s something to be said for not taking yourself too seriously.”

“I’m going with a YTA here.” – FearTheLiving1999

“What is happening in these comments my god lol. Yes, YTA and so is your daughter. I’m in my mid 40’s and when I took Spanish in school 30 years ago it was the same thing.”

“Why is this a big deal? It really shouldn’t be. My name doesn’t translate to Spanish so my teacher gave me a different name.”

“This is absurd to be so upset about this. You both sound childish.” – randomwords83

“YTA. Was prepared to say N T A thinking this was a history/math/English class, but this is pretty typical for a foreign language class.”

“My name in Spanish class was José which bore no resemblance to my actual name. If this is such a problem for your daughter, I feel bad for her because she is going to lead a very unhappy life.”

“And you sound exactly like the kind of mom to send emails” – L1mpD

“A soft YTA. It’s pretty common in language classes to pick equivalent names for students as a fun means of immersion.”

“While Alexandra is 1000% right to assert her name and prevent people nicknaming her, I think the situations here are apples and oranges.”

“This is a classroom technique to engage with the subject for the duration of that course, not someone trying to effectively change her actual name…”

“…(by assigning an unwanted shortening of the name that sticks around forever, as a few of my polysyllable-named friends can attest).”

“I think Alexandra is so used to having to defend her name, she can’t quite see that something harmless and immersive done for an educational course is not an attack on it.” – on-that-day

“Yta, not because your wrong, but you’re teaching your daughter that the world will cater to her every need and want.”

“And that in the teacher’s classroom, the teacher isn’t the one in charge, mommy is, and she is.”

“The teacher standing her ground was silly, but you actively undermined the teacher. It’s gonna be hard for the teacher to remain neutral towards your daughter now. I know I wouldn’t be.”

“It’s a silly thing for your daughter to get worked up about, and you could have taught her that.” – Blooregard89

“well you’re certainly not helping w/ teacher shortage. Dying on hills like these is entitled and honestly so irritating to teachers just trying to do their jobs.”

“I don’t agree with the teacher’s reasoning for the Spanish names, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the prerogative to run her classroom the way she sees fit.”

“She wasn’t calling your daughter something completely different, something bad, etc. It’s also probably better to equip your daughter to fight her own battles now that she’s in high school.”

“Coach her on self-advocacy, but have her do the advocating herself.”

“While it’s great to have your kids back, like I said, this is a strange hill to die on & would’ve been a better opportunity to help your daughter with self-advocacy…”

“…something she will need increasingly the older she gets” – Melodic-Key-574

“YTA, but only because you and your daughter sound a bit bratty. I can’t stand people who can’t go with the flow and throw fits about it.”

“The teacher is NTA because all she did was what she’s always done. Even if she explained why it’s done wrong.” – snowflake081317

“YTA – Now that your daughter is in high school it is time for her to fight (most, and certainly this) battle.”

“It’s not a good one and she likely won’t win, but she will learn a lot about being flexible and when it is worth it to complain.”

“I don’t think she is reasonable here, but she is in HS, time for her to learn.” – 2moms3grls

“So a Spanish teacher calls students by the Spanish version of their name in class. Your daughter wasn’t singled out, it was the whole class. Hardly the end of the world.”

“To me if someone is irate about something minor like that they’ve got some control issues somewhere and would benefit from learning to not take themselves so seriously.”

“You and your daughter sound like the kind of people that others roll their eyes at. I’m with your husband on this one. YTA” – perro_abandonado

So was this advocacy at its best or outrage enablement at its worst?

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)