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Parent Balks When Teacher Threatens To Punish Their Son For Handing Out Birthday Invites During Class

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If you bring something, bring enough for the class.

That is a simple, codified rule teachers have instilled in their classrooms not just nationwide, but worldwide as well.

When you don’t bring enough for everybody, you always run the risk of someone feeling very hurt they were not included and that’s upset the teacher doesn’t need to address during classroom time.

Redditor throwaway000434 did, in fact, send their child to school with party invitations, but not enough for the entire class, leading some children to feel hurt and alienated.  Despite having a good reason for not inviting everybody, or so our original poster, or OP, felt, they couldn’t shake the bad feedback from their son’s teacher.

Needing objective feedback from strangers, OP went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” to hunt down the truth of their actions:

“AITA for sending my son to school with party invites even though there wasn’t enough for everyone in the class?”

OP set the scene when they sent their child to school with “9 or 10” invites.

“My son is in 3rd grade, and has a birthday party coming up. I gave him roughly about 9 or 10 invites so he could invite any of his friends that wanted to come and they could give them to their parents and have them call me.”

“When I go to pick him up at the end of the day, his teacher waves me over. I asked her what was up, and she said that I shouldn’t have my son pass out invites if there wasn’t enough for the whole class.”

“I asked him which class he passed them out in and he said his math class cause that’s the one where most of his friends were.”

“I turned back to her and said I couldn’t afford to hold a party where almost 25 to 30 kids would attend. I was trying to keep it relatively small anyways.”

But the teacher was more concerned about the act of passing out the invites in class.

“She said, well then don’t have your son passing them out in my class. ‘We have students who don’t have the opportunities to celebrate their birthdays and it was unfair to give them the disappointment of not being invited.'”

“I told her while that was unfortunate it was not my problem to make the other kids in the class happy.”

“She said ‘Listen, parents make things I have nothing to do with my problem all the time. Just please don’t do this again or I will be writing your son up.'”

“‘Him passing those invites out distracted the class.’ She then said he should apologize to the class tommorow.”

“I was pretty upset and I told her I would be addressing this with the principal later. Me and my son went home.”

“I don’t really see it as my issue, it’s not like I told him to not invite any of his poor classmates.”


Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

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

Reddit actually thinks OP was very much in the wrong here.

“I agree with you, but I also think it’s expecting too much to think that a 3rd grade boy is going to understand how to be discreet.”

“Those social nuances can be tough at age 8. (Loud fake whisper: ‘Hey, Joe! Don’t tell anyone I’m giving you this!!)”

“OP did their son no favors by putting this all on him to figure out to social niceties. It is 2021, they can do an evite, and email, a text, a phone call, or actual mail. YTA.”-twomorecarrots

“OP was being lazy and inconsiderate. I think it would be common sense to get the names of your son’s friends, and then contact their parents directly since you didn’t plan to invite his entire class.”

“It doesn’t even sound like OP gave their kid instructions to not hand out the invites in class, and to do it at recess instead, which would have at least been reasonable.”-Electrical-Date-3951

“YTA. Why do you feel entitled to create a distraction during the teacher’s time vs. doing it after class, or on your own time?”

“It does also create rejection and hurt feelings for young kids that don’t get invited. This seems unnecessary and irresponsible as a parent that should care about all kids, like the teacher obviously does.”

“Sounds like you don’t give much thought to other kids’ feelings, only what you and your son want.”-bubbsnana

“YTA – not for limiting the amount of kids that can come to the party, but in doing so in a way that was designed to make sure other kids feel left out.”

“Giving your son invites to hand out as he sees fit in class is a fine way to turn the party into a popularity contest and make the majority of his classmates feel like shit, and it may in fact make other kids now resent your son.”

“It would have been far more appropriate to sit down with your son and ask him who he wanted to invite.”

“Then either give those invites to the parents yourself, or ask the teacher to discreetly make sure they get to the right parents at the end of the school day. You went about this all wrong.”-soundlikebutactually

People blasted OP for their lack of consideration for the teacher and the other children.

“YTA. She wasn’t telling you you need to invite everyone, just to make sure that if you aren’t, your son doesn’t make it obvious that some kids are invited and others aren’t.”

“You could have easily had him give them to the teacher to pass out discreetly. She has every right to be upset for the interruption to her class.”

“I’m surprised it wasn’t in a newsletter, it’s pretty standard now for invites not to be handed out in class, just like you can’t bring special birthday treats anymore.”

“It’s not about you, or your son, it’s about not making kids feel sad for not getting an invite.”

“If you’re so triggered you need to take this very simple matter to the principle, you need to re-evaluate why you’re so upset she made a reasonable request.”-ff_screech

“YTA. It’s been standard and the rule not to pass out invitations in class unless you were inviting the whole class since I was in grade school over 20 years ago.”

“You should have passed them out to the parents of the kids he wants to invite at pickup time or something, or gotten their addresses to send the invitations.”

“You should absolutely apologize to the teacher.”-cillianellis

“YTA. Not for limiting invites to ten people, but for not having him do it outside of class. It’s unfair to the kids who aren’t getting invited.”

“It may not be your job to make them happy, but it’s sh*tty to make them less happy. And getting sassy at the teacher when she mentioned the problems caused is even more asshole on your part.”

“‘Oh dear, I didn’t think of that’ plus apology for making her job harder would have been the right thing.”-judgy_mcjudgypants

“YTA. If you pass things out in class then you have to invite the whole class. That was the rule in my kids elementary school.”

“If you know friends outside of class and want to have a party, then that is what you do, you invite them outside of class.”

“Your son gets their phone number or their parents phone number and you call or text. You don’t pass out invites in class, even though that would be easier. Just the way it is.”-ForwardPlenty

And the teacher had every right to set the boundary she did for her class.

“YTA- this is not something you should do because other kids who aren’t invited will see that and it will make them feel absolutely horrible.”

“Also please don’t add this to the teacher’s already full plate. Teachers are already burdened with so much right now.”

“Especially with COVID, they are getting a lot of sh*t from parents and admin and are being run ragged.”

“And it is in their best interest to make sure all of their students feel comfortable; now they’re in charge of dealing with a class full of potentially hurt students, to top off all of their other responsibilities. They are allowed to set rules and boundaries for their classroom.”-anr14

“YTA. The ‘it’s not my problem’ comment is ridiculous in this context.”

“The teacher could have easily replied to you ‘it’s not my problem that you can’t afford a party for 30 kids’ but she didn’t she gave you helpful insight. That you countered with combativeness.”

“Also… kids are expected to pay attention in class and not cause a disruption. Handing out invites during class is a complete unnecessary disruption.”

“It’s not the teacher’s problem that you couldn’t be bothered with delivering the invites directly to the families or to ensure that your kid has a nice party by distributing invites on her time when she has a job to do.”

“What’s worse…(if I read your post correctly) you didn’t even bother to make the list of who should get the invites.”

“You gave a bunch of unaddressed invites for your kid to make an on the spot decision at school and to be in the awkward position of having 30 other kids watch the whole thing go down as your kid handed out the invites.”

“Totally agree that by this age kids know that they aren’t going to be invited to every party. Usually, they know it from the chatter that happens in school afterward. Yes, they have to deal with that and it’s not your issue.”

“The approach here is completely off base and you’re the AH not only to the teacher and the other kids but to your own kid for putting them in that position. Be the adult!”-JoySpecialist

“YTA. You needlessly created a situation where other kids were made to feel sh*tty. Just because something isn’t your fault doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to make it right.”

“Be more kind, especially to little kids. Think about what you just taught your kid? ‘Eh, is not my fault their life sucks so I shouldn’t bother trying to keep them from being hurt.'”

“What a terrible thing to teach your kid. Here, this is for you:”-neatchee

“YTA – I was once a kid and this happening and not getting invited would have 100% distracted me from class and made me upset I wasn’t invited.”

“Regardless of whether or not you care about those random kids’ feelings is your own issue, but the way you went about this and then disrespected the teacher for doing HER JOB makes you 100% TA”-cjholland5

OP’s choice to continually ignore the teacher’s request that the child not pass out invites in her class have soured Reddit’s opinion on him.

Consideration is a part of respect, and without being considerate of the teacher and her classroom, Redditors were loath to give OP any benefit of the doubt.

Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.