When it comes to birthday party planning during the elementary school years, it’s a pretty common practice to invite all of the birthday kid’s classmates.
But when there’s a bully in the class, there’s a question of whether or not they should be invited.
Redditor someserioustoast decided that they wouldn’t allow for their daughter’s birthday party to be ruined by inviting their classroom bully.
But when the daughter’s teacher confronted them about including all students, the Original Poster (OP) was shocked by the teacher’s outlook on bullying.
So they turned to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit to see if they were in the wrong.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for not inviting my child’s bully to her birthday party?”
The OP gave invitations for a surprise birthday to most of her daughter’s classmates.
“My daughter is turning 6 in a couple of weeks, so we are throwing her a surprise birthday party.”
“Her class had an end-of-the-year party yesterday, so I decided I’d hand out her invitations while she was distracted.”
“I gave all of her classmates’ invitations except this one girl who has been bullying my daughter since school started.”
The OP was uncomfortable inviting a bully.
“My daughter is Korean in a mostly white school, and this girl has apparently made it her life’s mission to bully my child every day about it. She calls her mean names, makes fun of her eyes, the food she brings for lunch, and even has gotten physical.”
“The teacher tries to separate them as much as he can, but it still continues.”
“So I decided not to invite her. I didn’t want anyone to ruin her birthday party, and I wasn’t taking any chances.”
The daughter’s teacher confronted the OP about it.
“I picked my daughter up from school today, and her teacher asked to talk with me.”
“He said it was really inappropriate of me to not invite the one girl, and just because my child can’t take a little teasing doesn’t give me the right to not invite someone.”
“I told him unless he was going to make that girl’s bad actions suddenly stop, then she will not be allowed anywhere near my child’s birthday.”
“The girl’s mom has tried to reach out a couple of times, none of which are apologizing for her daughter’s actions.”
The OP felt conflicted.
“I feel bad that I have to not include her as I was always the kid who never got invitations to parties, but my baby will always come first.”
“My husband is on my side, but I still can’t help but feel a little bad.”
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 were grateful the OP stood up for their daughter.
“How are our children supposed to learn how to set healthy boundaries, if parents are being called out for teaching them exactly this?”
“There is something seriously wrong with teachers or schools demanding to have a say in who parents invite and who not. This is just as if my boss demanded I invite all my coworkers to my house if I invite one. It is just insane.” – feralheartHH
“I don’t think it is good form to allow the making of racism that starts off as bullying to go unchecked. So nothing wrong with what she did. NTA.” – anaisaknits
“OP, NTA. Bullies don’t get birthday party invites. Racist bullies get reported to the principal, then the superintendent, then the school board, AND the news gets called.”
“I would have made a whole show of it, tbh (to be honest), because someone bullying your daughter, especially THAT young, is ridiculous but the teacher dismissing it is unacceptable.”
“Beyond that, adding in racism to the mix and racist commentary, from a child THAT young, would have me fired up and I’d be reporting to all those places and calling the news immediately.”
“That child is going to grow up to be a HUGE problem if someone doesn’t take care of it now.” – Affectionate_Salt351
“‘take a little teasing.'”
“1. every now and again, two little friends tease one another when they play, get in a squabble over a toy, then 10 min later; best friends again. Standard kid stuff, everybody goes to the party.”
“2. one little kid picks on another child nearly every day of the school year, calls her names, gets physical, and has NEVER been her friend. No party for you, little meanie.”
“NTA.” – CarrieCat62
“When bullying is involved I could care less about form. Do you think one should give a d*mn about what others think?”
“OP’s child does not go to school to endure and take racism nor be anyone’s emotional and physical punching bag.”
“This can be a teaching moment for that kid. No one will want you around if you keep this up.”
“Ok, we are all on the same page. Most of us know this is a hard situation because I’m sure OP understands the classmate is a child too, but all this will not be tolerated and it’s a shame.”
“Ultimately, OP’s priority is her daughter’s wellbeing and safety.” – snakpakkid
“Racists deserve to be excluded, and racist children need to learn early that being racist bullies gets them excluded.”
“That said, the only mistake OP made was to hand out invites in class, giving the self-righteous a** who calls himself a teacher a chance to preach morality.”
“NTA.” – blucougar57
Others were disturbed by the teacher’s opinion of the situation.
“NTA, and the teacher is the AH for telling you, ‘you don’t have the right to determine the guest list of your kid’s party.’ I mean. What.” – Whysoblest
“I’ve seen elsewhere that teachers do have more of a say if you hand out the invitations on school property.”
“And for good reason. If the bully had invited everyone to her birthday party except for OP’s daughter, that would rightfully be seen as yet another instance of bullying.”
“Easy fix, though, in the future, don’t hand them out on school property.”
“In any event, you are NTA, and you would be the AH if you invited the bully to your daughter’s party.”
“The teacher is a giant AH for not taking bullying and racism seriously, and OP, you might want to bring this up with the school administration. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen, so I’d bet they take it seriously.” – PerturbedHamster
“What’s the teacher gonna do? He doesn’t even stop the bully, and actually seems to be on the bully’s side.”
“So what, is he going to the party to escort the bully in? Just close the door in his face.”
“Is he going to tell the principal? Let him.”
“The bully still won’t be invited, and he’ll have to deal with a mom screaming at him, because he has done nothing to stop her daughter’s bullying.” – PaladinHeir
“I’d have a fear that this teacher may think that harassing the Asian child is harmless banter, but not treating the white girl as a princess is abusive bullying.” – shemjaza
“That is the exact vibe I am getting. That somehow not inviting the bully to the party is somehow worse than anything the bully did.” – TheSilverNoble
“Also the downplaying of it as ‘teasing’ by the teacher??? It’s not teasing, it won’t be teasing, and it’ll get worse if it isn’t stopped right now.”
“NTA, OP.” – birdywrites1742
“Teachers have no right to tell parents what they can or cannot do off school grounds, and this “everyone or no one” mindset is ridiculous.” – popcornnpickles
“NTA. If you were to bully the teacher, I’m sure the police would be called and or school authorities informed, and rightly so.”
“But why do they think it’s their right to interfere in your life and tell you who to invite to your child’s party? How is rewarding the bully with a party invitation a way to show them their bad behavior has good or no consequences?”
“All the bully understands is I’m being mean and still get a party invite. Actions have consequences, that are no longer something anyone teaches children.”
“Teachers are employed to teach school lessons to children, not interfere in parents raising their child even if the teacher doesn’t agree. Unless it a parent teaching really inappropriate behavior that harms another child-teacher has to stay out of it.” – YogurtclosetTop1056
“No, the school doesn’t have a say. BUT, they do have a say in how things are handled on school property. And OP should have NEVER handed put invites during a school function.”
“OP, you MUST understand that these rules are in place to protect kids from being excluded for being different. Full stop.”
“But NOT for bullies. And this is where I FULLY disagree with the teacher.”
“BUT, going forward, offer invites outside of school. Now, they’re not involved. NTA for not inviting her bully, YTA for doing so during a school function.” – AlbatrossSenior7107
While the subReddit could sympathize with the OP for wanting to invite all children in the class, based on principle and inclusivity, they rooted for the parent for standing up for their daughter instead.
Bullying is never okay, but when racism is also involved the behavior definitely needs to be taken seriously and corrected.