Student Emails Teacher Saying She Didn’t Appreciate Her ‘Disrespecting Her Mom’ By Saying Her Rules Do Not Apply In The Classroom

She wasn't sure if she should answer her student at all.

Group of students on phones in class BearFotos / Shutterstock

Being a teacher in the modern world can often feel like navigating uncharted waters. The rise of technology, along with increased access to information and social media, means that students are always plugged in. 

Getting through lessons is hard in general, yet when you’re fighting against cell phones for attention, it can be even more difficult.

One teacher struggled with a student who refused to put their phone away, and the outcome of their interaction wasn’t as expected.


The student emailed the teacher to say she didn’t appreciate her ‘disrespecting her mom’ by saying her rules don’t apply in the classroom.

In the since-deleted Reddit post, the teacher asked other educators for advice on how to navigate this sensitive situation.

Student secretly on phone during class Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock


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The teacher explained that they usually tell their students to lock their phones, but one student said, “I’m not doing it; my mom said not to.”

The teacher replied, “Well, your mom isn’t here, and thems the rules.” Her pithy answer caused “a big uproar, with said student still refusing the next day.”

@msjohnsonsela Replying to @alysanssesdraps how to get students to give up their phones, lead by influence and not control! #teachingtip #teach #teacher #edutok #publicschool #highschool #edutokmotivation #phone #classroom #class #management #fypシ #tutorial ♬ original sound - Ms. Johnson

The teacher went through the appropriate channels and alerted the school administration, who said to send the student to the office if it happened again — so the teacher did.


After she sent the student out of class, she received an email from her describing how she felt “disrespected.”

The teacher shared the text of the email, which read, “I’m doing this on a mature level because I don't want to have any more issues or make this situation bigger than what it needs to be.”

"I don’t appreciate the way you disrespected my mom and embarrassed me in front of the whole class," the student wrote. “I will have my mom email you like you asked me to about my phone being in my backpack, and I hope that is enough for you."

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The teacher asked other educators on the thread how they would reply or if they would even reply at all. 

Most teachers agreed not to reply in writing but to talk to the student one-on-one and document the conversation.

Others noted that the Reddit poster's initial response wasn’t disrespectful; it was her student’s refusal to put her phone away that showed a lack of respect. They advised reminding the student of class policies and procedures, noting, “The rules apply to all students, including you.”

Another teacher argued that the mom, herself, needed to be addressed, as she “needs to understand her kid isn't exempt from class rules … and needs to know her kid is doing this.” The student may also be in the middle of two authority figures — her mom and the teacher.

A different educator emphasized just how normal these types of behavioral outbursts from students are, saying, “The back and forth and classroom eruption is a far common experience.”


They expressed an opinion that centered on validating the student’s expression of their emotions. “I would be so impressed if the students I worked with sent me an email with their feelings as misguided as they are,” they wrote. 

From an outside perspective, it appears that the student is seeking validation from their teacher for being upset, which is an entirely human reaction.

While the student did disturb the class and acted as though normal school rules didn’t apply to her, a lot of times, kids act out to express that something else is going on beneath the surface.


The teacher certainly has to protect herself from a liability standpoint, yet it might make her student feel seen to respond to the email in some way, even if her phone rule still stands.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.