Children’s birthday parties are days filled with joy.
Though they also carry a fair amount of stress, for both children and adults.
Parents want to make sure that they make their children happy by giving them a special day.
While some children might get their feelings hurt to learn that some of their friends were invited to a birthday party and they were not.
Redditor AITAFOTEACHER found himself in hot water with his son’s teacher when she told him if he’s planning on throwing a party for his son, he needs to invite every member of his son’s class.
When he tried to explain that doing so simply wasn’t feasible, his son’s teacher wouldn’t take no for an answer, resulting in his use of a few choice words.
Having second thoughts on how he handled the situation, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA For Telling My Son’s Teacher to F*** Off When She Tried to Force Me To Invite 24 Kids to His Birthday Party?”
The OP explained how his son’s teacher informed him of a class policy which his son’s upcoming birthday was violating, but which he said he simply couldn’t accommodate.
“I got a call from my son’s (6) teacher today.”
“Let’s say her name is Ms. Goldbaum.”
“She says hi are you Al’s (fake name) father?”
“I say yes and ask if everything is Ok.”
“She tells me that she understands he is having a birthday party and that he invited a few of his friends from class, but not everyone.”
“I said yeah, there are a few kids in there that he has problems with and also I don’t think we can really handle hosting 24 kids and their parents.”
“She then tells me that there is a rule that if any kids in the class are invited that all kids in the class are invited.”
While the OP continued to give reasons as to why inviting every member of his son’s class to his birthday party simply wasn’t possible, Ms. Goldbaum simply wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“I told her it is an event off school hours on private property in my home.”
“She can no more tell me what I do there and who I can and can’t invite anymore than I can decide who is invited to her Thanksgiving dinner.”
“She then tells me there is a good reason for the rule since kids get their feelings hurt if they get left out.”
“So then I pointed out to her that there are 24 kids in the class.”
“If their parents attend the party with them then that can be upwards of 72 people and I told her that’s just not a reasonable thing to ask.”
“I also point out that he has friends from other classes attending, so do I have to invite that whole other class too?”
“She then said ‘Al is in my class’.”
“‘He is under my supervision’.”
“This is my rule’.”
“I then told her that Al is only under her supervision while he was in class.”
“I am the one throwing the party, and she doesn’t get to make rules for my house or me. “
“She then said if it involves her class, she does.”
The OP and Ms. Goldbaum continued to argue back and forth for some time, until the OP finally lost his temper.
“After a bit of back and forth on this, I lost my cool.”
“I said ‘Lady, it’s pretty clear that you’re too used to bossing around kids who have to listen to you and that you don’t seem to understand that your little fiefdom ends at the end of the school day and doesn’t go further than schoolhouse gates’.”
“‘I am not a 6 year old in your class’.”
“I’m a 38 year old union electrician planning a private event in my own home, off school hours’.”
“If you think you’re the one to make the rules for me, in my home on which I pay the mortgage on, you can go f*ck yourself and there isn’t a g*d d*mn thing you can do about it’.”
“She then kind of stammered and I ended the call.”
“My wife agrees that the school has no business telling us who we can and can’t invite into our home and that they don’t make rules for our house.”
“However, she says I went too far in telling Ms Goldbaum to go f*ck herself.”
“I am very comfortable with telling her that she has no right to tell us who we can and can’t invite into our home and that it is crazy I might have to invite up to 72 people for my son to have any friends from his class attend.”
“But in truth, I do kind of wish I left that last ‘go f*ck yourself’ part off.”
“But my friends at work and a few other parents tell me someone needed to take her down a peg since she was getting too big for her britches and deserved a lesson about overstepping.”
The OP also clarified just how big he was planning for his son’s party to be, as well as the manner in which they distributed the invites.
“We invited roughly 9 out of 24 kids in his class.”
“One or two may be from other classes–I’m a little embarrassed to say I’m not totally sure because I feel like I should be, but that’s what it is.”
“Most of the invites were done by my wife directly texting the other kids’ families.”
“There were a few kids where my son wanted to invite them, but I didn’t have their families’ contact info.”
“So, we gave him a few sealed envelopes with notes inside saying we understand the boys are friends and that we’re having an event for his birthday and even aside from that, we’d like to set up play dates.”
“From there, the family contacts us and then myself and my wife do the invites after we chat with the family for a bit.”
“My son himself doesn’t do the invites.”
“He is a 6 year old boy.”
“We do the invites through the other parents.”
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 agreed that the OP should not feel obligated to invite every member of his son’s class to his birthday party, and that he was not the a**hole for sticking to his guns.
Just about everyone agreed that Ms. Goldbaum should have heard the OP when he said “no” the first time, and shouldn’t have continued to pester him on the matter, with many finding his use of profanity completely justified.
“Several different ways were used to politely tell her ‘no’.”
“She seems to have gotten the message with profanity.”- BlueMoon5k.
“NTA, and I think you need to escalate this.”
“The only way you’d have been out of line would be if you let him hand out invitations during class time.”
“Ask for a meeting between the school administrator and this teacher.”
“At the beginning of the meeting, apologize for losing your temper and your language, but then go on to politely explain what happened during the phone call, and ask the administrator if this is school policy?”
“I’m guessing it’s not, and this teacher is way out of line with this request.”
“Administration probably needs to know what she’s up to so she doesn’t keep doing it to other parents.”
“Chances are she’s got a history of crap like this based on her self-righteous attitude.”- Alibeee64.
“You declined her request, which was your right to do.”
“Instead of accepting that, she argued with you.”
“She had the opportunity to end the discussion politely, chose to keep pursuing it, and tried to force the issue.”
“Some people won’t take no for an answer until you get more forceful with it.”
“That’s on her.”
“That said, it’s fairly common for teachers to have this sort of rule in their classrooms.”
“Invitations often cannot be passed out in class unless they’re going out to everyone.”
“If invitations are being passed out selectively, they should be sent outside of school hours to prevent arguments and hurt feelings.”
“The teacher does have the authority to prevent students from passing out invitations, or to set rules on how they’re being passed out, inside her own classroom.”
“This isn’t a new thing.”
“I’m in my 40s and remember having to invite friends to my birthday parties after school because we couldn’t pass them out in class unless we were inviting everyone.”
“Like you, my mom had zero interest in having 50+ people in her house.”-codefyre.
“NTA, Ms. Goldbaum is ridiculous.”
“My kid’s school policy is that if you don’t invite kids to your kid’s party, don’t expect to get invited to theirs. Common sense.”-perpetuallypolite.
Though there were a few who felt the OP could have gotten his point across without resorting to profanity.
“Yes, you should have left off the ‘go f yourself’ part.”
“However, you are correct in that her authority doesn’t extend beyond the school.”
“I will say that at schools around here, they request that you not hand out invites at school unless you are inviting the entire class.”
“Mail invites if the entire class isn’t invited. “
“That is reasonable.”- Ducky818.
If one can sympathize with Ms. Goldbaum in having the interests of the children at heart, and not wanting anyone’s feeling’s to get hurt.
Yet, hopefully she might realize that some parents simply don’t have the means to host such large parties.
Here’s hoping that should this happen with another parent, Ms. Goldbaum might work towards finding common ground in how to handle this.