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Teen Refuses To Speak To Teacher Mom After She Decides To Mentor Bully Who Tormented Him

Upset teenage boy

While some people try to brush it off and cite it as something that happens to “everyone” during their childhood, bullying is known to cause lasting harmful effects.

But when a child is being bullied, ironically the people who should care about them and protect them the most are often the ones who allow the bullying to escalate, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Redditor Substantial-Egg-1971 had been ruthlessly bullied during his earlier school years, and when he discovered that his mother had selected his past bully as her upcoming teacher’s aide, he felt betrayed.

But when he attempted to set a boundary and asked her to switch teaching aides with someone, the Original Poster (OP) realized quickly where his mother’s priorities were.

He asked the sub:

“AITAH for telling my mom she is dead to me if she mentors my bully?”

The OP was shocked when he found out who his mom’s teacher’s aide would be.

“So my [16 Male] mom [40s] is a teacher at my school. Our school has a special elective you can take which is being a teacher’s aide (TA) during your elective period.”

“It’s mostly stuff like grading papers for them, making copies, mentoring, etc… It’s pretty much always just the teacher’s favorite student at the time.

“I found out at the beginning of the semester that my mom chose Dave [17 Male] to be her TA.”

The OP and Dave had nothing but a negative history.

“Dave has made my life a living nightmare since middle school. He has bullied me mercilessly both physically and emotionally since sixth grade.”

“I don’t want to get into everything he’s done to me, but everyone is fully aware of it, including the school and my parents. There have been countless meetings with school administration and suspensions on his end but it never stopped him.”

“Since we’ve been in high school I haven’t had to see him as much, which is a relief, but the times that I do are always terrible.”

The OP attempted to broach the subject with his mother.

“When I found out that he was her new TA, I was obviously very hurt and confused. I asked her why would she want to spend extra time with someone who made my life so terrible?”

“She said that she had him in one of her classes and that he really isn’t such a bad kid, but he has a really terrible home life that she can’t tell me about that makes him act out.”

“For the record, my mom has always had a soft spot for kids who come from bad homes. I reminded her of all the things he had done to me and she said that she understood but he really needs help right now.”

“I told her I get that, but why does it have to be you? We have a huge school full of teachers and staff who can mentor him. Why does it have to be you? She told me to stop being selfish and some kids have it harder than I can imagine and she’s just trying to help.”

The OP set a firm boundary.

“I was honest with her and told her that if she continued to have him as her aide, she was dead to me.”

“She was choosing him over me and she would not longer be my mother. I would no longer talk to her and the minute I turned 18, I was moving out and she would never hear from me again.”

“She rolled her eyes and said I was being dramatic but after a couple of days of ignoring her, I was grounded.”

“It didn’t change my mind and my dad then tried to force me to talk to her. I still refused so they pretty much took everything away from me one by one for the past few weeks.”

“I no longer have my car, computer, guitar, and most recently my art supplies, and I have to come home from school and go straight to my room and am not allowed out except for dinner until I start talking to her again.”

“They don’t realize that this is just strengthening my resolve. I’m going to sit in this empty room every day silently until I’m 18 and they’ll never see me again.”

“My mom keeps coming in crying and begging me to talk to her which makes me feel kind of bad but she still won’t remove Dave as her aide.”

“Am I taking this too far? I just feel so betrayed.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some could not get over the mother’s behavior.

“NTA. The damage is done, hope your mother realizes she f**ked it up.” – Popular_Error3691

“In a few years, mom will post asking about why her son hates her, leaving most of the context out of the post.” – OttersAreCute215

“AITAH Because I mentored my son’s childhood bully?'”

“Bet it will be filled with the heartbreaking details of the bully’s ‘terrible home life,’ which she can’t disclose to her son to get the sympathy and validation.”

“And then she will leave out the details of the cruel punishment and treatment of her own son, saying, ‘I was just trying to help a good kid escape a terrible situation, I had NO IDEA it would affect my son. There were a couple of issues in middle school but I had no idea it was still happening when he started as my teaching assistant.'”

All of that being said even though she knew from the very moment and every moment she didn’t abandon her bleeding heart mission, ‘Her DUTY as a teacher’ for the sake of her kid.”

“She’ll twist and omit details, and she’ll get her own ‘NTA’ verdict. It only cost them one son. Glad it seems that OP is their only child, so that soon this pair of a**holes will not have any more kids to send into the world with years of therapy.” – Upper_Ad_4651


“If my mother had done that to me or one of my brothers, we would have treated her like a traitor.”

“She puts her savior-complex or whatever this is over your mental health. She is in addition to that disloyal to your family (YOU).”

“Just ignore her and organize your life. Do good in school and leave her behind when you are old enough and independent.”

“I cannot even compute how people do this to their own blood. But here we are. I wish you the best.” – Shinzodune

“Rather than risk the shame of acknowledging that they drove off their own child, they ‘don’t know’ why the kid won’t talk to them and it’s all very messy and totally confusing and their child is just irrational and the [insert bogeyman] got to them and convinced them to forsake her, or whatever.”

“It’s sincere, don’t get me wrong. They genuinely don’t understand why their kid won’t talk to them.”

“But only because they spent years refusing to listen when their child told them why they were going to cut contact and years thinking that threats of no contact were all a bluff and just moody teenager stuff. They blocked out the learning at every chance they ever had to fix the problem, so of course they’re not gonna start understanding now, after their own choices have made the situation unsalvageable.”

“That’s exactly what the OP’s mother is going through, and it’s not at all the OP’s fault. NTA.” – Anomander

Others reassured the OP that he should focus on himself going forward.

“NTA. Your parents are id**ts by punishing you for expressing how you feel. Your mother is crying to guilt trip you because you didn’t let it go like she thought you would.”

“Do what you think is best for you and good luck.” – Substantial_Tea6322

“NTA. I’m sure Dave has a rough life, but it doesn’t excuse his cruelty towards you. I would be extremely hurt if my mom sided with my bully.”

“Your mom should ask one of her colleagues to take him on as an aid and then tell Dave that, given his prior history with you, it is no longer appropriate for him to be her aid.” – Prickly_Peaches

“NTA. Is there someone else you can live with? A school counselor or family member to talk to? It’s not going to reflect well on her if it’s known she’s supporting her son’s bully and is punishing her son at home for not being okay with that.”

“If you want to ramp it up, put a countdown to your 18th birthday up on your wall.”

“Seriously though, if she does give up mentoring this kid, she and your father have still seriously damaged their relationship with you. You need to make that clear in the event your mom cracks. Demand family counseling with a therapist you approve of, so the therapist can also tell your parents how awful they’re being.” – mommykraken

“IF you talk to your mom, tell your mom maybe she can start giving a s**t about you since now you come from a bad home where parents encourage and enable bullying. And then don’t say any more to her.”

“Your dad is enabling abusive behavior, and Dave and your mom are now both your bullies. NTA but I’m so sorry.” – scarielthemudmaid

“Stop coming home after school on time. What are they going to do? Ground you? Take away more things? Oh wait, they can’t.”

“You have absolutely no incentive to listen to them so go to the library or whatever you want after school and make them worry when they can’t reach you. Stroll back into the house at 9:00 PM. Do this every day…”

“Your mother is choosing to abuse you for the ‘privilege’ to continue helping your bully. I don’t know you or your parents but I can comfortably say they are bad parents and bad people.”

“Also, your mother is crying but not removing any punishments or returning your things? Then she’s not actually sorry, just trying to manipulate you into letting her tutor Dave. I have no idea why her child’s bully is more important to her than her child but I wouldn’t love a mother like that, either.” – DragonSeaFruit

After receiving feedback, the OP shared the beginnings of an update.

“Nothing has really changed, but a lot of you made a good point that if I’m really going to go this route, then I need to come up with a plan for what I’m going to do when I get out. I considered the military like some people suggested, but then I remembered my school has a special trade program.”

“You go to our school for half a day, then spend the other half at our local community college taking trade classes. I think depending on what you are doing, you can get an associate’s degree or whatever certifications you need by the time you graduate.”

“I went to my guidance counselor during lunch today and told her I wanted to switch to that program. She acted really surprised and asked why I wanted to change now since I’m already taking AP classes and am on the college track.”

“I told her I didn’t want to talk about it but I would need to be ready for independence when I graduated and this seemed like the best way.”

“She said it might be too late to change this semester but she would look into it for me and let me know.”

The OP then shared a lengthy update in a separate post.

“To everyone who said my mom was sleeping with Dave… You were right.”

“Just kidding, yall are weirdos…”

“A lot has actually happened since last week and while nothing is really fixed, I think things are going in the right direction.”

The conversation about switching to trade school continued.

“On Friday, I got called out of class to the guidance counselor. When I got there, my mom and the assistant principal were there, as well. The counselor asked me to sit down and said that my changing tracks from college to trade like I mentioned in my last post, was a big decision and she wanted to sit down with my mom and me to figure out if this really was the best for my future.”

“She first asked me if I would fully explain why I wanted to switch. I explained the whole situation from my perspective and about how I was being punished. I said that if this is how I was going to be treated from now on, I wanted to become independent as soon as possible, and going to college would have me relying on my parents for longer than I would like.”

“She then asked my mom if she had anything she would like to add.”

“My mom tried to downplay the whole situation at first and make it look like I was just being stubborn and disrespectful, but as the counselor asked her more questions, it became pretty clear that my side was the truth.”

One positive change came from that conversation.

“After this, the Assistant Principal stepped in and said that a teacher’s aide was not worth all of this turmoil and that Dave would be switched with another teacher.”

“The counselor then asked me if this would help me to start working things out with my mom.”

“I said not really because it wasn’t even her choice, and she hasn’t even admitted she’s done anything wrong.”

“She then asked my mom if she was willing to apologize for anything that had happened. My mom gave a half-hearted apology where she said things had gone overboard and she never meant to hurt me so much.”

“The counselor asked if I would like to apologize for anything as well and I said not really but nobody pressed me on it.”

There was pressure to explore family counseling.

“The counselor then said about my transfer, it was too late for this semester. What she suggested is that my mom and I and possibly my dad should go to a family counselor for the rest of the semester. I would stay in my current classes, my parents would give me all my stuff back, and we could see if we could come to some kind of peace before next semester.”

“She then asked my mom that if after that, I still had not changed my mind, would she accept the class changes?”

“My mom said no at first because she wanted me to go to college, but I told her that she had already failed me as a mother once, so please don’t do it again.”

“She got really quiet and said she would agree to it if that was what I really wanted.”

The OP took steps to make the most of his situation for now.

“When I got home, all my stuff was returned to me.”

“I also started talking to my mom again. I just kind of felt like there wasn’t a point in ignoring her anymore. I don’t treat her like a mother or anything anymore, but I’ll answer her if she asks me a question.”

“It just feels like that now that I have a plan, a lot of my anger is gone and I just see her as a person who happens to live in my house. We haven’t scheduled our first counseling session yet but I don’t see it changing much anyway. The damage is done so I don’t see myself changing my mind.”

“That’s pretty much it. I probably won’t update again unless something crazy happens or something. Thank you to everyone who gave me good advice.”

The subReddit was furious on the OP’s behalf that his mother had prioritized her desire for a teaching assistant over his comfort and past history with his bully.

It made total sense that the OP wanted to move on and start his life as soon as possible, and because of how they continued to treat him, estrangement might be an option, too.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.