Letter: Ungrateful and complaining parents have ruined school activities


Re: Our school banned Mother’s Day. This is political correctness run amok, Mommy’s Grounded column, May 13

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I read with interest the article you wrote about Mother's Day and political correctness. This was the first year that I haven't had to create a Mother's Day gift and what a huge relief that was. I have been teaching for over 25 and have helped students make "gifts" for Mother's Day, Father's Day and other occasions. I think I could count on two hands the times I have received a simple "thank you." I spent huge amounts of time and often my own money organizing these gifts which largely went unappreciated. Do you have any idea how difficult it is getting supplies for up to 32 students, all with different abilities? If it were such an important thing, I think I would have received a little more positive feedback. (We did picture transfers onto canvas, framed artwork, broaches, key chains, cards etc.) A number of years ago a co-worker received an angry call on Mother's Day asking where her gift was. (I don't know if the child left it at school or what happened.)

Parents used to pay a $12 yearly special projects fee which went to pay for projects like Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts or any other special consumable projects the children brought home. The parents complained about the cost. The message was received loudly and clearly. As a matter of fact, this year a parent proudly told me what her daughter did for her on Mother's Day since we didn't do anything at school. It caused her daughter to step up! It's really not my job to make sure children express gratitude to their parents on a special day. I can encourage it, and make suggestions, but really, it's a parenting issue. (And I do stress gratitude and being appreciative all year long.) This year my students had to create a family tree (as part of the curriculum). I received an angry email from a parent saying how hurtful this could be for some students. So I wouldn't dare make a Mother's Day or a Father's Day gift.

You went on to comment about how sports days are now fun days and how everyone is a winner etc. I couldn't agree with you more, but from my perspective, how many parental complaints can you receive before you finally let them have what they want. We used to have academic awards, citizenship awards, fine art awards etc. at our grade 7 school leaving ceremonies.

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Every child could earn an award, and they were encouraged to. But the parents of the student who did nothing all year complained on award day how humiliated their child was (who opted out all year long in spite of constant encouragement from teachers). And don't even get me started on the number of parents who complained because their child didn't win the award they "should have."

And then there are the parents who complain about the coaching of every type of sport and don't have a kind word or a thank you for the teacher who is giving their time for the kids. There are complaints about the schedule and the coaching and the practices. As a matter of fact, the teacher/coaches now even have to wash the jerseys on a regular basis because it's too hard to try to get the parents to do so. 

While I love my job, I am relieved to be near the end of my career. The increase in unreasonable parental expectations and complaints about any and everything imaginable is becoming unbearable. I put my heart and soul into my work and love my students, but the change in parental attitudes over the years makes the teaching job less and less attractive. I hope you had a happy Mother's Day in spite of not receiving a craft from your child's teacher.

Editor’s note: We agreed to withhold the name of this teacher due to potential ramifications from their employer.


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