Catholic School Teacher Tells 7th Grader They 'Don't Care' About Her Personal Issues, Making Her Cry

Did the teacher cross a line?

upset student sitting in stairwell wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock

Teachers often take on the roles of parents, friends and even therapists for their students, often spending more time with them than students' own families. While it's critical for teachers to have empathy for their students, one seventh grade teacher at a Catholic school found themselves facing a moral predicament after getting fed up with one of their students.

The teacher told the student they “don’t care” about her excuses regarding personal issues.

“I have this student I’ll call Krissy. She is a… handful,” the teacher began in a Reddit post. “She’s a smart girl and usually does well on tests, but she is extremely dramatic. I have been having a lot of issues with her when it comes to late assignments.”


The teacher explained that they have a late policy for assignments, though they will bend the rules when the situation necessitates. However, they had a feeling Krissy had begun taking advantage of their lenience.

“Krissy has been turning in assignments late all year and going on some sob story about why she couldn’t get it done in time,” the teacher explained. “It’s her grandma is sick so she was visiting in the hospital, her dog ran away and she was out all day looking, her uncle is sick in the hospital, her mom got stuck at work so she had to spend all day babysitting her siblings, her dad got mad at her which sparked an anxiety attack and she couldn’t do the homework. You get the picture.”


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The teacher emphasized that they’d been giving Krissy full credit the entire time, but continued the post to explain that Krissy claiming she failed a pop quiz because her best friend's grandmother died was their breaking point.

“I looked at Krissy, sighed, and just said ‘Krissy, I don’t care. You do this all the time. It’s not fair to the other students, you have to find a way to get your work done. The excuses are not going to work anymore'."

The student cried when the teacher told her they were going to get her parents involved.

"She started to tear up and plead with me. I told her if she is really having these serious issues so frequently, we can have her parents come in for a meeting to figure out what we can do,” the teacher responded.


Upon the mention of bringing her parents into it, Krissy quickly reeled back and said that they didn’t need to get her parents involved, but that was the teacher’s ultimatum — bring the work in on time or get the parents involved.

“She left the room while yelling that people like me are the reason her generation has so many mental health problems because ‘we don’t understand their struggle,’” the teacher finished before asking if they were wrong.

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Teachers often walk a thin line in the classroom.

Every day in the classroom, teachers are tasked with commanding respect from their students while also being empathetic to their home lives. There are many reasons a student may not complete their work, which may be as simple as they don't want to to as complicated as a rough home life — and it's often left to the teachers to figure it out.


Worried that the child was potentially suffering from some sort of abuse at home or unsupportive parents that would only cause problems in the long term if they were to get involved, some people on Reddit suggested the teacher reach out to the school counselor to address the issue. In response, the teacher mentioned in comments that they contacted the school’s social worker who met with the child and claimed that everything was all right at home.

Others were concerned why it had taken so long for the teacher to contact the parents. “You should have seen warning signs left, right and center weeks ago if this was a constant issue. Those parents should have been contacted and brought in weeks ago!” one person wrote, and they have a point. Research has shown that 25% of students are more likely to complete assignments, 28% less likely to miss class, and 24% less likely to show “unsatisfactory work habits” when parents are regularly updated on their child's schoolwork.

Regardless of the timing, most people agreed that the teacher was not wrong for setting boundaries with the student.

In the comments, most agreed with the teacher that putting their foot down after all of the excuses was the right thing to do, being of the mind that the child is probably just lying and throwing excuses at the teacher knowing she’ll get away with it. And in an update, the teacher revealed that the student's parents vindicated them, explaining that there was one death in the family during this time period, "the other ones are false."

While bluntly saying something like “I don’t care” to a child who might really be suffering from these personal issues might be crossing a line, ultimately, things appeared to work out. 


"From now on, mom and dad are promising to be more involved when it comes to her getting her work done," the teacher wrote. "Problem solved."

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.