Mom Demands Teacher Promote Her Son To The Next Grade Even Though He Missed 104 Days Of The School Year

She and her son's psychologist both argued that he would be negatively emotionally impacted if he was held back.

High school student completing assignment in class Monkey Business Images / Canva Pro

Every student faces their own challenges on their educational journey. For one boy it meant missing the majority of the school year. 

Sadly, he was stuck in a situation where he couldn’t win because of his health and his country’s education system, leading him to be absent for over 100 days.

An eighth grader missed the majority of the school year, but his mother insisted he be allowed to move on to ninth grade.

An anonymous teacher shared the experience she had with a student and his mom on Reddit. 


The teacher clarified that they are not from the U.S. but did not disclose the country they are from.

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“He has been out of school for 104 days because of stress and body pain,” she said of the student. “He didn’t even attend all end-of-year assessments. For those he did, he scored less than 30%. I’ve talked to the child already. He knows the grades aren’t enough to get him a spot in the ninth grade.”


The teacher explained that the student’s mother did everything possible to ensure her son moved on to the next grade.

“His momma gave us a letter from his clinical psychologist, which says ‘it’s best for him to move up [to] the [next] grade with his friends.’ But we can foresee that he isn’t going to flourish and he’s going to be stressed out again,” she said. “All teachers and counselors agree that it would be best for him to repeat the year.”

The boy's teachers and counselors all agreed it would be better to hold him back a year, but his mother was against it.

“She went berserk,” the teacher said. “Apart from questioning why the letter couldn’t help, she proceeded to say how I, the homeroom teacher, didn’t help her child arrange assignment deadlines (excuse me, I am not your nanny; I only teach him English) and how the counseling sessions were useless.”

The teacher, who was incredibly frustrated, had to move on to other things with her day, even though the mother was not satisfied.


She also said that, in her country, homeschooling is illegal, and there are no virtual alternatives, meaning the child has to attend school despite his health challenges.

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Holding students back to repeat a grade is a complex issue.

Typically, forcing a student to repeat a grade is considered a no-brainer. If the student didn’t pass the grade, then they need to retake it, right?

This is true from an academic standpoint. Professor Martin West from Harvard Graduate School of Education researched grade retention of third graders and concluded that “being retained in third grade led students to take fewer remedial courses in high school and improved their grade point averages.”

@thebranchmedia When kids are struggling academically, their school may suggest holding them back a grade—also known as retention. But is that the best practice? For education policymakers, the answer isn't clear. Opponents argue that it further disadvantages students academically and socially, while advocates claim it get students the support they urgently need. What do you think? #education #schooling #retention #schoolretention #academics #holdingback ♬ original sound - The Branch

However, the same cannot necessarily be said for the emotional impact of being held back. Writing for The Education Trust, Brittney Davis said, “Grade retention research dates to the early 1900s, and researchers from many fields have investigated its effectiveness. The research is clear that grade retention is not effective over time, and it is related to many negative academic, social, and emotional outcomes for students.”

These findings lend credibility to the note from the student’s psychologist. Emotionally, being held back is very difficult and hurtful. This often is not considered when discussing the merits of grade retention, but it is a fact.

At the same time, one must remember that this student has missed almost the entire school year. As commenters pointed out on Reddit, it’s unlikely that he’s even that close to his school friends. 


Because the amount of time he missed is so significant, it’s likely for the best that he repeats the year. Hopefully, his mom will see the wisdom of the decision, which will also take undue stress off the young man and give him a fresh start for the new year.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.