Teachers are supposed to be the adults in the room, expected to take the high road even when children behave with zero logic or forethought.
But what if even the adult in the room realizes they have a limit, that they can only can take so much.
That was the dilemma faced by a Redditor who shared her experience in a post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as Nastyquibbits on the site, divulged how far things went right in the title of the post.
“AITA For getting a kid kicked out of my school’s after care program?”
OP kicked off with some backstory.
“So for backstory, I am an after school care provider at a small, somewhat underprivileged elementary school in the south.”
“I have been having issues with one of my students, let’s call him Nash.”
“Nash persistently acts out, and recently he has been directing this behavior at me personally.”
Then she offered up a specific example.
“For context, I am on the heavier side, and am also female, and as such struggle with body image issues.”
“Every day after school when I give the kids their snack Nash would always have a nasty remark prepared.”
“He would take his snack and say something like ‘Ms. Nasty Quibbits you’re too FAT for snacks,’ or another remark relating to my appearance.”
“It has seriously affected me both mentally and emotionally to the point where I dreaded going to work and I dreaded snack time even more.”
A recent development took OP by surprise.
“Flash forward to a few days ago when I was approached by a superior who wanted to talk about Nash’s behavior after school.”
“The gist of the conversation was that the school was making budget cuts, and would need to cut a portion of the kids using the school-subsidized after care program.”
“Nash was one of these kids, and my supervisor basically wanted to know how I felt about cutting him and if he was a disruption to the point of bothering the other children.”
OP was a bit puzzled.
“I inquired as to why he was asking (it seemed odd to give him special attention, why not just cut him?) and he said that Nash’s father had recently been sentenced to a lengthy prison stay and his mother had begged not to be cut.”
She had a decision to make.
“After thinking about it for a moment I said yes, and in retrospect his behavior with other children generally wasn’t much of an issue, however I decided that he was making me uncomfortable to the point of hindering my job performance and that it was putting the other children at risk.”
Ever since, OP’s had it on her mind.
“When I told my mother though she insisted I had abandoned the child and was behaving callously towards a child in need.”
“I tried to explain to her that it was affecting my job performance (she KNOWS how I feel about my weight), and that I would be doing the other children a disservice if I wasn’t at my best, but she just slammed the door in my face as if I was some sort of child abuser.”
“Personally I don’t think the personal lives of these children are my concern, and it is there responsibility not to bring that attitude on school grounds.”
OP also included a pertinent piece of information in an edit.
“EDIT: For those asking Nash is 7.”
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
A clear majority of Redditors said OP was indeed the a**hole. They were shocked by her expectations.
“NTA for not wanting to keep the kid in the program. YTA for thinking a 7 year old should not ‘bring that attitude on school grounds.’ How many 7 year olds will tell you ‘Geez, I’m really stressed about how my family has fallen apart?’ “
“Take some child development classes.” — Lucidity74
“YTA. And for me the last sentence confirmed it for me. You work in education. You need to understand that what is going on in kids’ lives is going to show up wherever they are.”
“Have you ever considered saying something to Nash about why his comments are inappropriate? I get it, I work in education too and kids/students can be MEAN.”
“But ultimately they are who they are because of their environment and you need to respond in a way that will support them in the future.” — lyndaylynday
“YTA I had a kid take a picture of my butt and post it to Facebook for everyone to ridicule. She served her detention, I did not remove her from the class. Funny enough, she came from poverty and had a dad in jail.”
“Kids repeat abusive language they hear at home. Nash is seven and capable of empathy if you make an effort to discuss his behavior with him.”
“You’re the adult. He is a child. You behaved unprofessionally.” — quidyn
Some were a bit more blunt.
“YTA. My god. A 7 year old. With a father in prison. Don’t get me wrong, he shouldn’t be doing that, but he’s also SEVEN.” — Tokyolurv
“You might want to consider another line of work because kids are a**holes. I say that as a mother of 3. YTA” — Aetheria1
“YTA. If rude comments from 7 year olds affect your job performance you are not capable of working with 7 year olds. Get therapy for your body image issues because this is ridiculous.” — 4oclocksundew
“YTA. You’re an adult. He’s 7. You want empathy for your self esteem issues regarding weight, but have no empathy for a 7 year old going through trauma.” — amjay8
“YTA He is a kid and going through a lot of hard things and you just made his life worse. Congrats!” — Patrick_Kanes_Mullet
“YTA, he asked for the wellbeing of the kids, you answered about your own wellbeing, simple as that” — charis345
“YTA and thinking their lives outside of school are not your concern screams that you are in the wrong line of work.” — Orion-Key3996
Even if OP takes this criticism to heart, with budget cuts acting as the driving force of the change, one can only wonder if things could be undone.