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'AITA for not boycotting a school trip to a theme park that my niece couldn’t go on?'

'AITA for not boycotting a school trip to a theme park that my niece couldn’t go on?'


"AITA for not boycotting a school trip to a theme park that my niece couldn’t go on?"

At the end of each year our son’s school takes all the kids to a nearby theme park. To go the kids do have to get decent grades for two out of the three trimesters. By decent I mean they have to at least get C’s. If you get any D’s on two or more trimesters you don’t get to go on the trip and have to stay at the school with the other kids who couldn’t go.

My niece, who also goes to the same school, struggled with math this year and got D’s the first two trimesters and wasn’t allowed to go on the trip. Her mom (my sister) made a huge deal about how the policy was horrible as it made the kids who couldn’t go feel both left out and obviously singled out for having bad grades. She tried bringing this up to the principal to get the policy change, but that didn’t work.

So then she tried to get a movement going to get other parents to boycott the trip. Everyone’s kids really wanted to go on the trip, so no one was willing to boycott the trip. Aside from the parents of the kids that weren’t already allowed to go.

My son got decent enough grades and was allowed to go on the trip. My husband and I had also signed up earlier in the year to be chaperones. My sister felt like we betrayed her and her daughter by letting our son go on the trip and for chaperoning.

She thinks since we’re family we should have stood by her and her daughter against the “unfair” rule. Also that my husband and I could have helped her make a bigger impact by threatening to drop out of chaperoning.

Here’s the part where we may be a bit hypocritical. One of the main reasons we decided not to boycott the trip is because we didn’t want our son to feel left out. All his friends were going to go and he would have been the only one in his group that didn’t.

Honestly we also just wanted to go ourselves to have fun. The kids are old enough that they don’t have to constantly watched by chaperones. They’re allowed to venture off with their friends.

As chaperones we only have to man one of the check in points (the kids have to check in twice) for a couples hours. The rest of the day we basically get to ourselves. Which is really great since the chaperones get free tickets. They can be a bit expensive at their regular price.

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

Raisins_Rock said:

NTA. However she feels about the policy, does everyone here not understand that the entire PURPOSE of the trip is to motivate kids to try to get better grades?

This is a reward trip, not a punitive measure. I think maybe the problem is that the cut off is now too low - used to be enough kids were "left out" not to feel too bad if says it was cut off at Bs. But I'm sure the school lowered the bar to try to be more fair to kids.

Ironically nothing they do will make everyone happy ever. And your son deserved to go on the trip. He shouldn't learn his rewards will be taken away because his cousin didn't get the same thing.

tabbycat4 said:

NTA. If she really wanted her kid to go she could just pull her out of school that day and take her anyway.

Solid-Feature-7678 said:

NTA and if your sister is that bent out of shape about it, tell her to take her daughter out of school that day and take the kid herself.

FigForsaken5419 said:

NTA. These sort of trips have been a thing for decades. I went on one 25 years ago. It was grade based. Your sister saw her daughter was struggling with math for most of the year. What did your sister do about it? Did she hire a tutor? Learn the material herself? Ask the teacher for extra help? Or did she jump straight to trying to change the rules for her child or punish all the kids when that didn't work?

The_Bad_Agent said:

NTA in any way. The kids who are allowed to go EARNED that privilege. Unfortunately, your niece did not. Your sister isn't helping your niece. If your niece gets stuck believing that she's entitled to things she didn't earn, she will not be a good adult.

Mrchameleon_dec said:

NTA. Her daughter didn't meet the requirements, therefore she can't go. Why should you sacrifice your kid to make a point? Would she have made the same stink if her daughter met the requirements?

World_Explorerz said:

NTA. At what point do we stop shielding kids from the realities of life? Sometimes people get to do things and go places that others don’t get to do. If anything, this experience should be a motivating factor for OP’s sister to dig in to what tools or resources are available to her daughter to improve her math skills.

spaceylaceygirl said:

ESH - some students have learning disabilities and will struggle. This policy seems to penalize them for something which isn't their fault. I realize some students are just not making an effort and this is supposed to push those students to do better but i can only think of a student who pushed themselves to go from a D to a C yet still will be denied a trip in spite of their tremendous effort.

Other students might have issues at home which are affecting their grades and will be banned from going which is like kicking someone when they are down. If OP's niece has low grades, does OP know why? If it's due to something the niece can't control, OP and her husband should be advocating for the school to correct their policy.

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