Mom Asks If She Was Wrong For Questioning A Teacher's 'You Must Include Everyone' Rule After Her Daughter Excluded A Little Boy

The teacher demanded that classmates cannot exclude each other. However, this boy was crossing many boundaries.

girl, classmate Ground Picture / Shooting Star Studio / Shutterstock 

Growing up, we are often taught to be kind to everyone and extend the invitation to include the “odd one out” in all of the activities we participate in in the classroom. However, what if there is a valid reason the “odd one out” is the odd one out? 

One mother is challenging the idea that we must include everyone no matter what after her daughter and her friends were forced to include a student in their group project who they claimed made them “uncomfortable.” 


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The woman’s daughter’s teacher contacted her after her daughter excluded a boy from her class group activity. 

Sharing her story to the Reddit forum, r/AmITheA–hole, the mother asked if she was wrong for disagreeing with her daughter’s teacher for encouraging her daughter to “include everyone” as classmates were forming groups for a class project. 

She began her post by revealing that she always encourages her 12-year-old daughter to establish her boundaries and teaches her that it is okay to say “no” to people who cross them. So when a boy in her daughter's class began frequently harassing her and some friends at recess, the little girl was well-equipped to know how to protect herself.


“I've encouraged her to go to me or her teacher when this happens,” the mother wrote. 

Recently, her daughter’s teacher advised the class to form themselves into groups of four or five for a class project. Once her daughter and a few of her other female classmates got themselves into a group, the boy who had been giving them trouble at recess declared that he would be joining them. 

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Naturally, no one in the group wanted him to join and attempted to steer him in another direction. “Another girl said that they already have five, and he should work with a group that only has two or three people,” the mother wrote.” He said no because the teacher had said ‘about’ four or five.” 


Her daughter then told the boy that they did not want to work with him. He replied, “You can't exclude me like that, it's against class rules.” The woman’s daughter told him that she “didn’t care” and when the girl returned home from school, she told her mom about the situation. 

The teacher claimed that the woman's daughter had violated class rules. 

Later that day, she received an email from her daughter’s teacher informing her that her daughter had “excluded” one of her classmates, going against class rules. 

The teacher asked the mother if she could come into the school to have a discussion with her. However, the mother disagreed and defended her daughter in an email she wrote back to the teacher. 

“I'm sorry, but that is not a lesson I feel comfortable teaching my daughter,” she wrote. “She's at the age where she is already having to deal with unwanted attention, and I'm making a point to teach her that she does not have to be around anyone who makes her uncomfortable.” 


“I think it is a very dangerous lesson to teach a girl she has to include and be kind to everyone, instead of teaching her to be aware of when someone is not respecting her ‘No’ and stepping out of the situation.” 

The teacher emailed the mother back asking for a meeting with herself and the school principal. Although she is standing her ground on her daughter’s boundaries, she is wondering if her email was too harsh. 

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Other Redditors sided with the mother and praised her for the lessons she was teaching her daughter. 

“All children should be allowed to set boundaries from unwanted attention. Please, please, please use this line of reasoning with the teacher and administrator,” one user pointed out. 


“Your daughter has the right to stand up for herself and not be made to put up with people who make her uncomfortable or hurt her,” another user commented. 

“You should ask them [the school] why are they more concerned about your daughter saying no than being concerned that the boy is constantly harassing your daughter and friends,” another user pointed out. 

The mother followed up with her post to share that she did not have to attend the meeting alone. The parents of the other girls in the group who were also being harassed by the boy teamed up with her to encourage the school to change their “include everyone” policy. 


“We went to talk, and I think it went a lot better having all the parents join instead of if I'd gone alone,” the mother wrote. “The teacher and principal apologized and the principal agreed to look for resources on how to better navigate the balance between being inclusive and not forcing kids into including someone who is crossing a line with them.” 

Even though kindness and inclusion go a long way, they both also go completely out the window when someone is repeatedly disrespecting your boundaries and crossing a line. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.