Father called a jerk for supporting his daughter after teacher confiscates her book

Back in school, running through the corridors during recess was the norm, with teachers often urging us to sit down and pick up a book. I’m sure many of us can recall being among those who eventually succumbed to their persuasion…

Fast forward several decades, and the scene has shifted. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find school staff encouraging kids to be active during recess, with some teachers even confiscating books if they notice a student engrossed in reading.

This was the case for Reddit user u/iguessimthatdad‘s 11-year-old daughter.

The concerned parent took to Reddit’s ‘Am I The A*****e‘ thread to share the story of his daughter, Cleo, who is in the 5th grade and has ADHD. He wrote that Cleo’s struggles with making friends at school, coupled with past experiences of bullying, have led her to find solace in books.

“Cleo has ADHD and was bullied in 3rd and 4th grade for some of that. While it was brought under control by 5th (current grade), these kids still don’t play with her and pretty much ice her out. While I don’t think they have to play with her, it also means that she doesn’t socialize a lot at school. She’s okay with this,” the father wrote.

Credit: Getty.

“Her teacher says our daughter often plays alone at recess or reads. My wife and I were not very concerned and explained she’s very social and active afterwards,” he continued.

Eventually, Cleo’s love for reading was put to the test when her teacher confiscated her book during recess. Distressed and fearing her mother’s reaction, Cleo returned home upset, prompting her father to intervene. Assuring Cleo that she did nothing wrong, her father confronted the teacher the next day, demanding the return of her book and challenging the teacher’s actions.

“The next day, I brought Cleo to school early and walked her to class, no one but the teacher was there. I told the teacher to give me the book. She obliged and tried to defend herself. I told her to save it and she had no right. There is no rule that Cleo has to do physical activity at recess and we expressed no concern,” the father said.

He added: “The teacher said she was allowed to set boundaries for her class but I pointed out recess was free time. It’s not like Cleo is reading during math. We went back and forth, and finally I said I’d be reaching out to the principal.”

Credit: Getty.

However, the father’s assertive stance didn’t sit well with everyone, as his cousin, a teacher at the same school, revealed that his actions had become “hot gossip” among the faculty. Despite the criticism, the parents felt justified in standing up for their daughter’s rights, especially considering their impending departure from the school.

Many other users took to the comments section to express their opinions on the matter, and people were overwhelmingly in support of the father.

One person wrote: “How can you actively discourage reading and call yourself a teacher????”

Someone else added: “Why is this woman a teacher if she doesn’t want children to read in their free time? The only time I’ve ever had a teacher complaining about me reading in my free time was during our The Scarlet Letter reading my Junior year. Her complaint was that I was way too far ahead of the rest of the class and needed to stop before I got to the end and wasn’t interested in class discussion anymore.”

A further user chimed in with: “You gave your kid the message: we have your back […] You gave your daughter the message that it is okay to be herself. To spend her ‘me-time’ the way SHE wants to. It is a powerful message and who cares what the teacher’s lounge thinks of that.”

What would you have done in this situation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


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