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Teacher Says Parents Were Furious At Her For Confronting Their Child For 'Stealing' A Classroom Tablet

Photo: AnnaStills / CanvaPro
Teacher confronts student while another points a finger at him.

Teachers have an overwhelming and often under-appreciated job — one that many of us would refuse to take on if given the opportunity. From poor student behavior and unsupportive admin to lacking compensation and near-constant public discourse, they have a lot on their plates. 

However, studies show that the “biggest challenge” for teachers is something completely outside of their job descriptions: parents. So, when one teacher on Reddit decided to discuss a behavior issue with one of her student’s mothers, she was surprised when the conversation went shockingly well.

That was, until the next day when her principal had some alarming news to share. 

The teacher called the next generation ‘doomed’ after parents confronted her for ‘embarrassing’ their daughter when she tried to steal a classroom tablet. 

“What should’ve been a discussion about stealing and that it’s wrong, instead became a witch hunt for the teacher. What are we teaching our children?” she questioned. 

   

   

This elementary school teacher was having a relatively normal Monday morning until she heard a student yelling at the back of her classroom. When she looked up, she saw the scene — one student stuffing a “classroom tablet” that they had hidden under their shirt into their backpack, while another desperately tried to get the teacher's attention.

When the tablet fell out and fell onto the ground, there was no denying what was happening. She’d just caught a student trying to steal

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"I called the student over and had a very serious, but gentle chat about what had happened. [The] student admitted that they were trying to take the tablet. We end our conversation by discussing that stealing is wrong," she explained. "Of course, [the student was] upset and crying in the front of the room."

Teacher Says Parents Were Furious After She Confronted Their Child For StealingPhoto: Comeback Images / Shutterstock

The student’s tears drew attention — if there wasn’t already a classroom of kids waiting to see the outcome — and the teacher tried to mediate the situation with a hug. The teacher reminded the student that everyone makes mistakes and redirected them back to their seat. Within 10 minutes, she admitted that everyone had forgotten all about it, and their day moved forward as usual. 

Knowing she had an already scheduled in-person meeting with the student's mother after school, she decided to bring up the troubling event at that time.

“After hearing what happened, the Mom asked why the child was crying. I reiterated that the student was caught stealing the tablet,” she wrote. However, that wasn’t a good enough answer for the mom, and after several back-and-forth comments, the teacher finally said she could’ve been “embarrassed for getting in trouble.”

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“I didn’t know what to say. They were stealing and got caught. Tears were an appropriate reaction. It showed remorse,” she continued. 

Although the mother initially appeared angry at the teacher, it seemed by the end of the meeting that everyone was on the same page. However, that was far from the case. 

The following day, the teacher received a phone call from her principal.

Instead of reprimanding their daughter or discussing the problems with stealing at home, the student’s father called the school the next day to confront the principal about the teacher’s supposedly inappropriate behavior. 

“They said I embarrassed his child and labeled them a thief. He also said the child was just trying to ‘borrow’ the tablet,” she wrote. When her principal inevitably contacted her, she explained the whole situation — but at the end of that day, she was told to just “call the parents” next time. “I guess talking in person wasn’t enough?” 

Her frustration and anger over the situation spilled into her post, as she questioned the fate of this next generation, especially if even their parents can’t admit their child did something wrong. “Are we teaching them that if we make a mistake, it’s someone else’s fault?” 

   

   

Of course, teachers should always be held accountable for their actions in the classroom, but ultimately, it’s a parent’s responsibility to reprimand their children for bad behavior and teach them right from wrong.

If we want teachers to focus on educating kids and facilitating healthy habits, we shouldn’t be blaming them for the behavior students bring into the classroom. 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture analysis and human interest stories.