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Teacher Called Out For Not Following Every Specific Instruction Parents Give Them For Snack Time


Teachers, and all educators have a difficult job.

They do all they can and are nowhere near paid enough.

They make lesson plans. They babysit.

They can’t be food police as well.

Case in point…

Redditor seeker7628 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 not following the food requests from the parents of my students?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Hey, I would love a parents perspective on this if possible.”

“I teach first grade, so my students are 6 and 7 years old.”

“The school year just ended, and I had a parent complaint right at the end of the year, which has been really bothering me.”

“At my school we have a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack.”

“I’m with the kids for both snacks and for the first 5 minutes of lunch before a lunch supervisor (parent volunteer) takes over.”

“And I go on my own lunch break.”

“Basically, the issue is that I get a lot of unique requests from parents when it comes to their child’s eating habits.”

“If it is any type of dietary requirement or allergy I absolutely follow the requests 100%.”

“BUT, I generally don’t follow the other requests because I honestly don’t have time and can’t remember all of them.”

“Here are some examples of requests I have gotten this year from parents, to help you understand (names changed):”

“‘I want Joey to eat his fruit at first snack, and he can only have his dessert at last snack if his entire main dish is finished first.'”

‘”Can you please ensure that Bella eats her vegetables before her chips?'”

‘”Sam is not allowed to go out for recess unless he finishes his sandwich.'”

‘”I don’t want Sarah to eat her cookies until last snack.'”

‘”Ryan doesn’t have to finish his vegetables, but he does have to have at least one of each kind at first snack before he can have anything else.'”

“‘I’m upset, because yesterday Jack ate his noodles at first snack instead of his orange, and so he was hungry at lunch.'”

“‘Can you please make sure he doesn’t eat his main dish until lunch?'”

‘”Mary can only have her juice in the afternoons, or at lunch but only if it’s hot out.'”

“I get flooded with requests like these throughout the year.”

“It sounds easy to follow when you have one or two kids, but when you have 24 with 24 different unique requests it’s just impossible.”

“And honestly, these kids aren’t 2 or 3 years old.”

“They’re 6 and 7!”

“They are old enough to be responsible for any food rules their parents want to enforce with them.”

“I don’t understand why the parents can’t just tell their kids ‘eat this first’, ‘no dessert till last snack,’ etc.”

“Before every single snack and lunch I always tell the kids ‘remember what your parents told you about your food! choose your snack carefully!'”

“And if I remember and see something off I will always call it out.”

“For ex… if I see Joey eating cookies first snack and I happen to remember his mom said no I will call it out.”

“But that’s the best I’m willing to accommodate.”

“Again, unless it’s a dietary/allergy/exceptional learner which will then of course be enforced by me.”

“At the end of the year I had a parent tell me I did a fantastic job with their child.”

“But they were annoyed that I didn’t put more effort into their child’s eating habits at snack and lunch.”

“I’m still pretty certain that it will be impossible to accommodate.”

“But it makes me feel like a failure a bit.”


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. You are teacher, teaching is your job.”

“You aren’t being neglectful, you are remembering allergies and dietary requirements.”

“It isn’t your job to monitor how these kids prioritize eating the food they were given.”

“I’m not a parent, but this seems insane.”

“Teachers are so valuable and your work truly is education, not parenting.”  ~ RockandWheat

“This. This is a classic case of ‘no good deed goes unpunished.'”

“You go out of your way to accommodate or go above and beyond for someone.”

“And then they expect it, even though it’s far beyond your job description.”

“I used to occasionally answer student emails (high school) on an evening or weekend if it was a super simple clarification question like a ‘yes or no’ or even just a ‘check the syllabus.'”

“They came to my phone and it was just not a bother.”

“But if I was busy or it was a complex thing I’d have to explain, I didn’t.”

“I got some really audacious kids get super lippy with me about how it was my fault their assignment was late because I didn’t answer their email on Sunday at 7pm when they had an entire month to finish it.”

“Some would even email me multiple times.”

“And put some truly ballsy tone/comments in writing that resulted in conversations with them and parents as to how to communicate appropriately.”

“Long story short it became a blanket policy of ‘I will not, under any circumstances, be responding to emails outside of contract hours.'”

“And when I did this (evidence of how much teachers are simply assumed to be exempt from employment law/not have actual lives outside of their profession) I had a group of students (backed by their parents) complain to the administration about me.”

“Because I was ‘refusing to do my job.'”

“They were shocked to be told that it was not, in fact, in my job description to explain the entire assignment to Suzy at 11pm the night before the due date because she wasn’t paying attention in class.”

“I would type out a polite, clear policy, get it okayed by whomever in case someone gets their back up over it.”

“And send it to parents at the start of year spelling out the types of reminders you give to students, maybe recommendations about effective ways to pack or plan their kid’s lunches.”

“But advising them that beyond this, children are responsible for making their own choices about how to eat the food provided to them by their parents.”

“And no guarantees can be made about special requests.”

“The only guarantees you can provide are that their child’s allergy and health-related needs will be monitored as closely as possible.”

“Each time you get a request like this, thank them for expressing their concern and alerting you, and then refer them back to the policy.”

“Honestly. If they’re eating their sandwich at snack and are hungry / jealous at lunch, that’s a natural consequence.”

“They’re adequately nourished regardless.”

“If they’re only eating cookies and not fruit, stop sending cookies.”

“Label your kid’s lunch and hope they adhere to it.”

“School isn’t home, and you need to prepare your kids to function outside of home routines, which can be expected to differ from school routines.”

“They’ll survive.”

“I’m also worried about looking out for kids who don’t have a lunch, or who were only packed junk.”

“A lot of parents are missing that perspective.”

“Parents, don’t feel discouraged from reaching out (as teachers, sometimes it’s an easy fix).”

“But don’t make comments or harbour resentment like the parent in OP’s post.”

“It’s unfair and unrealistic.”

“OP, stop dwelling on that comment.”

“Remind yourself that parent was expecting too much, and that you aren’t responsible for fulfilling her lofty expectations or carrying out her parenting plan.”  ~ jtgibggdt

“I had a first grader last year (he’s 7 now) and he is old enough to understand the request I make of him.”

“NTA it’s unreasonable to make these requests, knowing that there are this many children in the class.”

“This is the year the start to learn responsibility.”

“They need to stop worrying about food and worried about whether or not their kid can tell time and add and subtract.”  ~ Typical-Garlic-7308

“NTA. The only one I find reasonable is making sure the kids are not eating their main course at snack.”

“I work as a paraprofessional and often monitor during snack time and I just use a blanket ‘Okay kiddos, we are NOT eating lunch.'”

“‘We are having a snack. You may choose one of your small snack items.'”

‘”That does not mean your sandwich or your lunch.'”

“And then I give examples or help them make a choice.”

“Otherwise I let them choose. Cookies for snack? Fine. Seaweed? Great.”

“You could also have a blanket policy that parents must separately pack snacks and lunches.”

“I actually prefer it when parents do that.”  ~ sheramom4

“NTA. Parents today have crazy expectations of everyone in contact with their children.”

“I admire you for keeping up with the allergies.”  ~ kittymom2020

“NTA. Teachers have a rough time of it and requests like that for so many kids is nigh on impossible to follow.”

“You’re not a failure in the slightest, you’re there to teach not act as the snack police for fussy micro managing parents.”  ~ CrystalQueen3000

OP… Reddit def feels like you’re doing all you can.

You can’t be everyone’s everything, all of the time.

Keep up the good work.