We all want the best for our children and to give them fun, memorable times.
But there will always be people who disagree with us about what is best for them.
One mother struggled with where to draw the line on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
And Redditor SchoolThrow99876 was flabbergasted when her child’s teacher wasn’t as excited as she was about her plans.
The Original Poster (OP) later wondered if she was wrong.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for letting my first-grader skip school over a birthday party?”
The OP had everything ready to go for her son’s small party.
“Basically, my son is in first grade and his birthday is next week.”
“We live in a small apartment, so I let him invite five friends. He was super excited, and I sent out invites to the parents over social media, all was good.”
But after hearing about it in class, the son’s teacher had other plans.
“He and his friends were talking about it in class because they were obviously excited, and his teacher overheard and sent me an email Monday afternoon, basically telling me that the class rule for parties is similar to Valentine’s, bringing treats, etc, in that you have to invite the entire class.”
“I told her there is no way I’m hosting 25 kids in my small apartment, and she suggested I move the party to a nearby park instead.”
“I told her that there is no way I’m watching and feeding 25 children either, and that I’d never heard of this rule and we certainly hadn’t been invited to every other child’s birthday party.”
“She replied that it is indeed a rule even if others had skirted it, and if he didn’t bring invitations for the whole class the next day (yesterday), he’d have to turn his behavior card to ‘double red’ and miss recess.”
The OP did not appreciate the response and made plans of her own.
“So, instead, I took him out for the day and we had a blast getting ice cream, getting a happy meal, and picking out a small early birthday present, and I explained in a simple way why we were doing what we were doing.”
“I told my husband and while he agrees the rule is stupid, he basically called me a Karen for being so petty and having our son miss his education, that a day of missed recess isn’t a big deal, and that he’d still get punished the next day (today, so we’ll see).”
“Basically telling me that my feelings are right but that all I did was hurt my child instead.”
“I’m worried he has a point. AITA?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed with the OP and said the teacher’s response was ridiculous.
“NTA. I’m a teacher and some schools have this rule. But you didn’t break it- you said you invited them over social media.”
“All they were doing at school was talking about the party. Not handing out invitations. Wasn’t the teacher’s place to say anything.”
“And moving a kid on a behavior chart to double red is NOT an appropriate consequence for not inviting the whole class. At all. That’s just an abuse of power.”
“Behavior systems like that should only be based on the child and their actions. Not anything to do with parents or outside of school activities. Absolutely ridiculous.” – Sarandipityyy
“It also should be illegal to have those types of behavior charts in school. My SO and I talk about this all the time. The charts can be a source of shame for some kids.”
“Kids with behavioral issues (ADHD etc..) are at a disadvantage with these charts as well as they work really hard on trying to be ‘good’ and then a little slip and they pay for it by sliding down. Eventually, the kids say screw it as no matter how hard they try they are penalized by the smallest outburst. It does nothing to reinforce any positive behavior. We’ve seen this too many times in our son’s school.” – jonovision007
Others pointed out a skipped school day may have been beneficial.
“NTA. Allow your kids to skip a school day once in a while – it affects NOTHING. Instead, it can be a very fun and exciting experience to share if you also take time off work and do something unusual together.”
“You were right and once again, I can’t stress how little a couple missed days of school would affect a child’s education at any level, let alone in first grade.” – HoneyPriestess
“I would add to that, skipping a day of first grade will have zero long term educational consequences unless the teacher decides to be a jerk about it.” – Fraerie
“I can tell you that it is, in fact, a rule. When I was in elementary school (back in the earlier 2000) I had printed invites for specific friends. My teacher took them, copied them, and had me put them on every student’s desk in the class.”
“I think only one other person showed who I was not initially planning on inviting. It’s a rule because otherwise the other kids would feel left out.”
“But from a parent’s perspective, you are not wrong here and punishing your child for something that is clearly not his fault is kind of abhorrent.”
“You probably gave your kid the day of his life, letting him skip school to spend time with you.” – immamoose-_-
A few really felt for the OP’s son.
“It p**ses me off so much that the teacher wants to punish the kid for something that is the parent’s decision.” – scifi_cripple
“Right?! For something totally unrelated to him and his behavior. OP, THIS is what I would take issue with and bring to the principal. (Also, taking away recess is illegal in many states. And if it’s not illegal, most counties advise strongly against it.)”
“This is NOT an appropriate way to use a behavior chart system. That would be like me moving a kid to red because his mom forgot to send in snacks for the class on his snack day. That’s insane.”
“Not that this excuses her behavior, but is this a new teacher?” – Sarandipityyy
“NTA. How can a school possibly dictate whom you invite into your own home? Is this a public school? I would pursue it with the principal, and if not, with the school board. If your child is penalized, I’d see a lawyer.” – Weskit
The subReddit agreed the mother only wanted what was best for her son and his birthday and, quite frankly, the demands made by the teacher were a little over-the-top.
Hopefully, some kind of solution can be reached, or else, maybe the son will miss a day of recess and then put the whole red-carded situation behind them.