8th Grade Teacher Calls Girl Who Rejected A Classmate's Prom-posal 'Nasty' Even Though The Boy Told Her To 'Pick A Casket' If She Refused

The 8th-grade teacher blamed the little girl for his male student becoming a "villain" but she had every right to say no.

A note saying "Aye I'm try to take you to prom pick a casket or yes" with the response "No hard feelings" Twitter

Women are all too often forced to learn early in their lives that rejecting a man’s advances can have dangerous consequences. In a sexist culture where men tend to feel entitled to women’s attention, even the politest of rejections can lead to retaliation. These responses can range from rude or aggressive messages to full-on assault and murder.

With this terrifying context in mind, it’s no wonder that what one teacher saw as an innocuous joke set off alarms for hundreds of Twitter users.


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An eighth-grade teacher posted a note showing her student rejecting a boy's prom proposal.

The exchange between two of his students sparked a larger discussion about gender, male entitlement, and rejection.

In a now-deleted tweet, one Twitter user posted what he thought was a funny prom proposal note from one of his students to another. The boy who wrote the note asked a girl in his class to prom, and gave her two responses to choose from: “Yes,” or “Pick a casket.” The girl checked the latter option and wrote “No hard feelings” with a drawing of a heart.


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The teacher jokingly described the girl’s response as “nasty work” and added that this could be the male student’s “villain origin story.”


When faced with pushback, he explained that the two students were good friends with each other and that he didn’t believe the male student would actually be violent. He denied that the female student felt unsafe, saying that he would have taken action if that was the case. “I have strong relationships with my students,” he posted. “Y’all do not know my students.”

Twitter users argued that the added context didn’t improve the situation.

People questioned why the girl’s rejection was labeled “nasty work” while “pick a casket” was written off as “playful banter.” “Love how ‘no hard feelings’ is nasty work but the threat, ‘pick a casket’ is just a joke," wrote one user. “How does a teacher not use the moment to teach the kid that it’s never cute or funny or a joke to threaten women who reject him[?]”

Others pointed out how the girl went out of her way to spare the other student’s feelings. “The very fact that the girl added ‘no hard feelings’ shows she wanted to make sure the boy wasn't mad at her rejection or was more concerned about his feelings than he was of hers when he gave as options ‘yes’ or ‘death,’” said one user.

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Another user related to the girl’s response, saying “I too have laughed at or ignored jokes at my own expense because I thought it was expected for me to survive and thrive.” She pointed out that the teacher’s reaction to the note demonstrated to the class that the threatening “joke” was to be laughed off rather than seen as concerning or inappropriate.


To put an end to a culture where aggressive, violent reactions to rejection are seen as expected, we need to call out potentially problematic behavior early. Rejection can be difficult to deal with, but it's never an excuse for harming another person.

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Jessica Bracken is a writer living in Davis, California. She covers entertainment and news for YourTango.