Father Accuses Teacher of Being 'Dumb' for Book Assignment

Gillian Sisley

How much say should parents have in their children’s public education?

It's no secret that teachers feel seriously underappreciated in the United States, and also feel that they're not receiving a salary that aligns with the amount of work and dedication they put into their students.

With that said, most parents understandably have a lot to say and are very invested in their children's education. They want to ensure that their child gets the right opportunities and quality education from those who are teaching them.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a father get into a fight with his daughter's teacher before the school year even starts because he believes an assignment that she sent out is 'stupid', and she’s ‘dumb’.

How much say should parents have in their children’s public education?

A Reddit post published on August 2nd, reported on by Anders Anglesey from Newsweek, has gone viral with 7,100 upvotes and 1,500 comments.

The author begins his post by explaining that the teacher sent out an assignment to their upcoming 6th-grade class that they needed to do a book report on a book that was more than 75 pages in length. The author's daughter did her report on the graphic novel Watchmen, and the author didn't find any issue with this.

However, the teacher reached out and said that the daughter needed to redo her assignment because 'a graphic novel isn't a book'. The author went back to say that a graphic novel ‘is, in fact, a book’ and that if there were rules against which novels couldn't be included it should have been stated in the instructions. The teacher replied that it should have been obvious.

After some back and forth of arguing via email, the author then attached the assignment and emailed it to the principal, telling him to assign a teacher to his daughter 'who can read directions because this [teacher] clearly can't'.

What is the appropriate way to handle disputes over education?

The author later told his wife what he had done, and his wife is now mad at him. She said that the author should have done his best to try and handle the situation in a more mature and diplomatic way with the teacher, rather than going straight to the principal via email.

The wife even accused her husband of making them ‘look bad to the principal’. The author however feels that the teacher is 'too dumb to read her own assignment', and that it shouldn't be their daughter's problem to work around that.

What do you think? Was the author entirely out of line for calling the teacher ‘dumb’ for requesting that the assignment be redone? Or is the author right in that his daughter shouldn't have to redo the assignment simply because she didn't read an approved book by the teacher?

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