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Mom laughs at teacher for giving son detention for being startled, 'this is dumb.'

Mom laughs at teacher for giving son detention for being startled, 'this is dumb.'


There are times when you simply must laugh, even if it gets you into trouble.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a mom asked if she was wrong for laughing at the reason her son was given detention. She wrote:

"AITA for laughing at the reason my son was given detention and not agreeing to it?"

I realize this title sounds entitled as all hell but I ask that you please don't skim read. If the consensus is that I'm an AH and I'm truly as entitled as the title sounds I'll call and apologize. I (36F) have a son (11M) In 6th grade we'll call "Preston" which a teacher we'll call "Susan"(50+F?).

Some important background is that Preston is pretty skittish and jumpy, he easily gets startled by noises or voices he does not expect, especially if they are loud. I only have seen Susan in person like twice but she has a distinctly loud, almost thunderous voice, never heard her yell yet though.

Preston says it always makes him jump a little and apparently she's known for being ridiculously loud in general from other kids and parents. Anyway, I WFH And I got a voicemail on my phone from Preston using a school phone saying he got detention, because Susan yelled at some kids fooling around during work time.

He was startled, and she noticed so she made him leave the room, work in the hallway, and call me to tell him he has to serve detention next week. I did not believe that was the reason he got detention at all because that sounds really dumb and assumed he was just minimizing his role (ge does tend to do that when explaining his side when in trouble).

So I thought I'd get Susan's side at recess while I went to lunch. I call her and I was completely caught off guard when what she said lined up with everything Preston said to a T. I wasn't sure what to say at first, but I ended up just laughing on the phone before any words could come out.

Susan was irritated and asked what was so funny and I just responded that I was so sure that Preston was lying to me, because that was such a ridiculous reason to give anyone detention and that he is not serving detention just for being startled. She tells me that this is not a suggestion and that I'm being obtuse.

I stood firm and asked her if she'd think it appropriate if her boss yelled loudly at some fellow teachers, you were startled and then he proceeded to dock HER pay or some other form of punishment, following up with I bet she didn't even do jack squat to the kids she was INITIALLY yelling at after noticing Preston.

She got quiet for a moment and I thought maybe I convinced her, but then she doubled down and said that failing to serve detention would result in suspension or more, and I told her I'd gladly fight her and the school on this if it came to that before hanging up. I do not intend to punish Preston just for getting startled, we all do it and it's nothing worth making any issue out of.

If I'm being honest the only reason chose to post is because I vented to my friend about this later and she actually did not side with me, saying that I was kind of being a dick to laugh at Susan and that teachers don't get paid enough to deal with the things I said, so I wanna hear what unbiased people think.

People weighed in with all of their thoughts.

BoyoDee wrote:

I startle easily, If I got in trouble every time I had a reflex response from a loud noise in the classroom I would have been expelled several times over. That is easily the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard someone get put in detention for. NTA! Talk to the principal about this ASAP and object.

I’d be curious if Susan has actually explained what happened yet to those above her(if they have any common sense, they’d say it’s ridiculous) also, maybe to avoid any retaliation, see if he could change rooms and get a different teacher?

This might be US defaultism talking, but I’d say it’s pretty early in the school year to do a switch for the good of your son so this teacher does not pull anymore weird power trips like this one.

opensilkrobe wrote:

NTA. I absolutely hope you fight this tooth and nail. You know who also jumps and startles easily? Abused kids. She doesn’t know for certain that Preston isn’t/wasn’t one in the past. We punish kids for trauma responses now?

cantbelieveitbutter wrote:

NTA. Feels like Susan may just want to punish your kid for no reason. Try talking to the principal about the situation if Susan won't listen to reason.

The_Bad_Agent wrote:

NTA but talk to the principal. Susan is definitely on an unhealthy power trip.

CatraTheEverliving wrote:

NTA. I startle easy by loud noises too. Being startled is definitely not a reason to get detention. You were willing and did listen to the teacher. You were willing to believe your kid was lying.

When you found out that your kid was being 100% honest with you, and this teacher really just wants to give a punishment for being startled, you laughed. I probably would laugh out of disbelief. I would definitely talk to the principal, but you aren't wrong. This is absolutely ridiculous.

OP is NTA here, Susan is truly on one.

Sources: Reddit
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