Teacher Concerned That A Student's Parent Repeatedly Asks Her For Money To Buy Food & Gas

The teacher had no choice but to contact Child Protective Services.

teacher sitting at her desk looking down in dismay n_defender / Shutterstock

Teachers have incredibly demanding jobs. They aren’t just teaching students; they’re caring for them. It’s difficult when they are given reasons to worry about their students.

One teacher was given a big reason to worry for one of her students and their siblings after their mom made a strange request.

A parent asked her child’s teacher for money to buy food and gas.

A teacher on Reddit asked fellow teachers what to do after being asked for money by a student’s parent.


“This has never happened before, but a parent asked me for money for gas and food,” she said.

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The teacher explained that she tried to help without handing over actual cash. “I did not send money but gave the parent resources where she could get food and transportation in our town,” she said.


Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of it. “She then asked again,” the teacher said. “I said no.”

The teacher decided to contact Child Protective Services because she was worried that the kids in the home wouldn’t have enough to eat on spring break. Sadly, the mom also had a “history of drug use.”

The teacher did the right thing by contacting Child Protective Services.

We Are Teachers pointed out that a teacher does not have to be “absolutely certain that abuse is taking place” to call CPS. Instead, the resource noted, “If you have a strong suspicion and feel that there is reasonable cause, that is enough reason to call.”

Therefore, by contacting CPS, this teacher was being proactive. There might not be any neglect going on in the home. But it’s better to be safe than sorry in such serious situations.


Student's Parent Asks Teacher For Money For Food And GasPhoto: Max Fischer / Pexels

To make things easier, some schools or school districts have CPS liaisons that can be contacted in such situations.

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The teacher is still worried about the family in question.

While the teacher can rest easy knowing that she made the right decision in contacting CPS, that doesn’t mean she breathed a sigh of relief.


“I cannot stop thinking about this family and these issues. “I am wondering what you do to help you relax and take your mind off of children/families like this?” she asked her fellow teachers on Reddit.



One teacher shared some very helpful advice, “The best advice a past guidance counselor told me was to stay in my lane. Refer to proper services, focus on curriculum so that I can be the best teacher I can be. She doesn’t try to teach math, and I don’t try to fix their lives. It has helped me not feel guilty for these things.”

Another teacher added some much-needed perspective to the situation. “If the parent has had a history of drug use, there’s no way for you to know if the money you give her is going to food for the kids or for drugs,” they said. “If it’s food she truly needs, there are resources, both public and private, to get food to her family.”


Student's Parent Asks Teacher For Money For Food And GasPhoto: Dids . / Pexels

That same teacher also gave some advice about how to lend a helping hand. “I used to buy grocery store gift cards as winter break gifts for needy families,” they explained. “Those were passed out discreetly by the office/counseling staff. For sure, those gift cards were used for food and toiletries. Never give cash, I advise, because there’s no way to know where that goes.”

This teacher’s heart was clearly in the right place. She wanted to care for her student and their family. However, there was only so much she could personally do here. She was forced to pass this issue on to people better equipped to handle it.


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