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'AITA because I won’t ask the teacher to change my daughter’s grade?' 'She won't speak to me.'

'AITA because I won’t ask the teacher to change my daughter’s grade?' 'She won't speak to me.'

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"AITA because I won’t ask the teacher to change my daughter’s grade?"

My daughter Ines is in the 8th grade. I am a single parent who is barely getting by. We can’t afford the activities for the graduating class like trips to New York, dances, etc.

I told Ines this and she seems to understand that we just can’t afford it. I got called in to talk to her English teacher over a paper she wrote last month. The prompt was “what I did on spring break.”

Ines spent it at home or tagging along with me to my job. But instead she wrote this ten page story about how she found this door in the office I clean that took her to the past. She wrote a short fiction story instead of the paper her teacher wanted. She got a D. Ines wanted me to convince the teacher to change her grade.

I told her that she can’t submit short stories instead of homework, so she deserves that poor grade. But Ines said that she doesn’t have anything to work with otherwise she hates English. We are going back and forth. She has a C in English and I told her she is grounded until she gets her grades up.

Ines is upset and won’t speak to me. I had another meeting with a school counselor who suggests that I’m being too harsh on her, and to encourage her to write more. That’s not the problem. My problem is that Ines doesn’t listen to me or her teachers and acts like she’s living in that dimension in her stories. That’s not how the real world works. AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

missdeb99912 said:

YTA. Coming from someone who has worked in education for 15 years. I would schedule a meeting with the teacher to better understand your daughter’s grade and ask about this assignment, specifically.

If there’s an opportunity to provide some insight to the teacher regarding her doing absolutely nothing during break and writing a short story instead, then do it. If your daughter actually PERFORMING at grade level and not missing assignments, then the teacher is being a bit over the top.

I don’t get how a D is even possible if she is a good writer. I think this is an opportunity for you to be an advocate for your child in a positive way and show her you care. The counselor is right. Get a meeting, talk to the teacher, and cut your daughter some slack. Sounds like she’s missing out on a ton of things and is in a super strange and uncomfortable age.

lilolememe said:

YTA. So the school counselor is telling you you're being too harsh, and your response isn't to own the fact you're being too harsh. Your response is to blame your daughter for not listening to you...

(Gee, I wonder why she isn't listening - could it possibly be that you're not listening to her, really listening to her and helping her cope with her reality) and for trying to escape her reality in a short story she wishes was real. You want her to live in the real world which to her probably really sucks. You're doing nothing to help your child at all.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe she gave an example of how she spent her time during Spring Break? Making up stories in her head is an incredibly great way to spend vacation when your family can't afford to take you anywhere. She probably didn't have enough material to write about what she did on her vacation nor did she want to open herself to being judged for being poor.

You SHOULD be encouraging her writing because if she's any good at it, she may end up becoming an author and making a lot of money doing something she loves. You SHOULD be encouraging her artistic side. Did you know that Christopher Paolini began writing his novel, Eragon, after graduating high school at the age of 15? It spent 151 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

It became an international best seller. He's a multimillionaire today. Even if your daughter doesn't become a NYT best selling author, she has something that bring her joy, and in this world today that's vital. Kids are suffering with mental illness/depression every day, and to find something that brings her happiness is amazing. You should be supporting her.

Her teacher is an asshat. She should have talked to your daughter to ask her quietly what she did on vacation. When she heard that it was sitting at home doing nothing the teacher should have accepted her work. Most teachers would have done just that. It's not always doing exactly what you're told to write. It's about getting the kids to write, period.

You could advocate for your daughter. You should advocate for your daughter. She's needs you in a world full of criticism and rather than be there for her you've added to her burden. At least if you attempt to talk to the teacher, she knows you're on her side.

Stephh075 said:

YTA - the school counsellor, a trained mental health professional, told you that you are being too harsh and you ignored that advice. A mental health expert who has worked with your daughter and understands the situation gave you advice and you are looking to strangers on the internet to agree with you.

That’s how you traumatize a child. Google adverse childhood experiences and then maybe rethink your parenting style.

jrm1102 said:

YTA - Yeah, Ines didnt do the assigned correctly. Maybe her D was warranted. But what I think is making you an AH is Ines is expressing some creativity here and you’re completely ignoring it. You have an opportunity to support her and you’re doing nothing.

Squiggles567 said:

YTA for not recognizing that your daughter has done something really imaginative that complies with the instruction in spirit. If she wrote about going to your office in spring break, and finding the door, that is. Dod the teacher specify the prompt had to be used for a factual essay and not a story?

Your daughter turned in 10 pages of writing. She really tried. I would ask the teacher to cut her some slack and explain why your daughter has done this. If the content of the story is otherwise good, she should not be getting a D. That sounds overly vindictive.

Your daughter could use a sign that you ate a cheerleader where there is a reasonable argument and she has put in the effort. At least have a discussion with the teacher. If you conclude that the teacher was not wrong, then fair. But if you do not have the talk at all, then this comes off as you not caring enough to find out whether your daughter has been wronged.

This is especially the case if the D is driving a lot of her overall grade that you are grounding her for. Your daughter clearly needs moe stimulation during spring break than going to your office. Is there more free or cheap stuff that you can also do next break, when you’re not working?

hiddenkobolds said:

YTA. I get not calling the teacher. I don't get grounding her. It seems pretty clear to me that she wrote the short story because she was embarrassed about the truth; her break was uneventful compared to that of her peers.

That's no one's fault, to be clear-- you're doing your best, and no one can blame you for that-- but it is kind of part and parcel of being in the 8th grade, particularly when your classmates are of significantly higher socioeconomic status than yourself. This was me 10+ years ago, so I understand.

I don't think it's fair to punish her on top of the bad grade, especially when she's already going to be missing out on all the end-of-year stuff which probably feels like a punishment in itself. I get that it isn't, and intellectually she probably does too, but she's still missing out.

Grounding her right now feels like adding insult to injury, and I don't think it'll help communication between the two of you either. Let the grade stand but the punishment drop, IMHO.

Side note: your daughter has an admirable interest in fiction-writing. You should find a way to think and talk about this that doesn't drip with disdain. This could eventually be a career for her, or at least a meaningful and positive hobby.

No one was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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