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White Teen Told To Do ‘Family Tree’ Project On Biological Family Instead Of Black Adoptive Parents

Francesco Carta fotografo/Getty Images

Some school assignments may need some looking at.

Not every lesson ages well.

There are certain instances when it’s best to get teachers and parents on the same page.

Case in point…

Redditor This-Quantity-186 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for sending my son’s teacher an accosting message?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My husband (42 M[ale]) and I (37 F[emale]) first met our son’s (17 M) history teacher at his open house.”

“He is very clearly not our biological child.”

“I am black and my husband has dark black hair while our son is white as a ghost and very blonde.”

“She didn’t bring up him being adopted, some teachers did, so I assumed it wasn’t an interesting topic for her.”

“But recently I’ve seen that that assumption was wrong.”

“In the class as a part of a ‘getting to know you’ assignment, she asked the kids to do a family tree.”

“And specifically singled out my son and told him to do his biological family instead of us.”

“He told us about it and said he wasn’t going to listen and just do us and his siblings, one biological to him, one also adopted, and the other biologically ours.”

“He came to us a few days later saying he had been going back in forth with the teacher because she gave him a 1/20 for not doing his bio family.”

“She then contacts me because he wasn’t listening to her.”

“In one of her messages, she calls my son a liar because he ‘misquoted’ her by saying she said ‘real family’ when she really said ‘biological family.'”

“This is where I start to feel like an A**hole.”

“I told her I didn’t give enough of a f**k to play semantics with her.”

“And that she was a stupid b*tch for saying that he didn’t follow instructions when nowhere does it state on the assignment instructions that it had to biological family.”

“She even said that people could include their pets, that’s not a biological family member.”

“To me, he has no obligation to oblige by rules that only apply to him and serve no one any benefit.”

“I proceed to call her a stupid b*tch again because a part of the assignment is talking about your family’s personalities.”

“His bio mother passed away and his bio father went to prison when he was four.”

“And neither of them have attainable family members.”

“So if he did do it her way half the assignment would be missing.”

“To sum up…”

“I am my son’s adoptive mother.”

“He was assigned a family tree project his teacher asked (only him) that it be bio family only, but he refused.”

“She messaged me, I messaged her back calling her a stupid b*tch multiple times.”


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

Many Redditors declared this situation was an ESH outcome, with some exceptions.

“ESH (except your son).”

“The language you used did nothing to help your son’s position.”

“You have a right to be mad, but if the teacher is acting in an unacceptable way she needs to be reprimanded through the school’s disciplinary system.”

“This means reporting her behavior to a superior.”

“No one is going to take a complaint from you seriously if she has written evidence of you swearing at her and calling her names.” ~ not_a_bad_egg

“Hey, former teacher here.”

“You need an in-person meeting with her, her administration, your husband, and your son.”

“I don’t like her assignment and it’s totally messed up.”

“But don’t underplay cussing her out.”

“Own your responsibility in that.”

“Apologize, it was uncalled for, and no one should be talked to like that in this setting.”

“Based on what you said here, it’s a total stretch to say ‘I was provoked’ over the phone, and that will make you look crazy.”

“If you put up a front that you’re blameless in this all.”

“The administration will likely put their weight behind the teacher because honestly there’s not a whole lot of people who are willing to put up with the education system these days.”

“I’m not going to lie to you, this will affect your son in this teacher’s class for the rest of the year, even if subconsciously the teacher will opt out of going the extra mile for him because of your outburst.”

“After the apology is accepted (it will be if it’s sincere and she’s on the spot) then get to the point that her assignment was disrespectful and lacked student choice and was determining his identity for him.”

“If this was a piece about genetics the biological element was called for, but it was a getting to know you assignment.”

“It is not OK for her to dictate who his family is and who he chooses to share about.”

“I am positive there are other children there with stepdads or moms that she did not give that directive to (if she can prove that she did give them that same directive – you want to see).”

“Administration will be on your side.”

“Unfortunately even if it works out in your favor, it could still result in pettiness from this teacher toward your son.”

“So after that’s solved, reiterate in front of your son that you do expect him to respect this teacher.”

“That you look forward to collaborating with her as needed in the future.”

“And you’re hoping that she will feel peace going home tonight.”

“That now that it’s solved and all is good, you won’t hold it against her and hope she won’t hold you cussing her out against you.”

“Then make a joke about Covid and all the craziness of the last 6 years being hard on everyone and let’s work together not to lose our minds.”  ~ grainofsalt2022

“You’re an adult and you’re responsible for your own actions.”

“‘I was provoked’ only works if you’re a toddler, and even then just barely.”

“The teacher sucks for singling out your kid.”

“There’s no excuse for that.”

“That said, ESH except for your kid.”  ~1965BenlyTouring150

“You shot yourself in the foot big time by using that sort of language.”

“What this teacher did was unconscionable and bullying and you’ve just let her clean off the hook.”

“Your ONLY chance is to go to the principal and START by apologizing for your language, explaining you were deeply upset but promising there will never, ever be a repeat incident.”

“I’m not telling you this because I care about the teacher’s feelings in this matter.”

“No way. But if a school can categorize you as the problem then it neatly absolves them from ever having to address any problems you raise.”

“And the Boards will back them.”

“The watchword is ‘Relentless Courtesy.'”

“You never lose your cool, you never raise your voice, and you persist.”

“Keep bringing them back to the issue you’re concerned with.”

“Repeat your points. Polite but not backing off.”

“The best way to get rid of you then is to solve your problem.”

“Not easy when your problem is that the teacher is a raging bigot and your son needs to be moved far, far away from her.”

“It might beat fruit to say to the principal that you understand that your outburst might have made the teacher uncomfortable.”

“And reluctant to work with you on your child’s education going forward and perhaps a fresh start with another teacher would be best for all concerned.”  ~ Irishwol

OP returned with some details.

“We have a scheduled meeting on Wednesday with the principal, the teacher, and his guidance counselor.”

“He works closely with him because of my son’s trauma, my son confided in him when the situation first went down I didn’t know about this until now.”

“And I am currently drafting my apology to her that I plan to send tonight.”

“I have since found out she’s (allegedly) made derogatory comments about my husband being Jewish.”

“This will be brought up in the meeting, let’s hope I keep my cool.”

Reddit continued…

AWESOME NEWS regarding the meeting! Also good idea on apologizing!”

“Even if this teacher is the school’s ‘bad apple,’ your apology and expressed willingness to ‘work’ with her will go a long way in that meeting!”

“You definitely don’t want to be perceived as a ‘difficult parent’ for all of your children’s sake.”

“NTA! The teacher unreasonably dismissed your son’s valid reasons for making his family tree about his current family.”

“Her insensitivity towards him could’ve caused him further unnecessary trauma in his young life.”

“Make sure that the teacher is rightfully reprimanded and if necessary, have your son placed in a different class!”

“This teacher’s approach to teaching appears to be toxic! Good Luck!”  ~ bkupisch

Well, Reddit went everywhere with this.

While it is never a great idea to cuss out a teacher, emotions run high when protecting your kid.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, OP.

Good luck with the meeting!