Mother Criticizes School For Deceiving Students About Donation Prizes, But People Just Call Her “a Karen”

A concerned mother’s story about the school misleading her son about donation prizes sparked a significant response on social media. Was her approach to the situation appropriate?

Covid Crisis Meant No Lessons

school during covid

In the midst of the Covid crisis, children were unable to attend school in person. Unlike many other educational institutions that adapted to remote classes over Zoom, this particular school only operated on Mondays and had no further lessons for the rest of the week.

The School Took a Different Approach

teacher checking work

Instead of grading the homework, the school would tick off the homework as “completed” if the student said they had finished it and made it part of their completion grade.

The mother described the school and its way of handling things as “backwards.”

The School Needed Donations


Every week, the school asked for donations and sent out flyers. On this particular occasion, they had promised prizes for the number of donations made.

The flyer specified that 20 emails had to be sent out but did not say how many donations were necessary to get a prize.

“Basically, the more people who donate using your name, the bigger the prize you get.” Her son really wanted the headphones prize.

Generous Contributions Made it Possible


The mother called the school to ask how many donations she needed to secure the headphones. They had promised 12 donations, and the mother sent out 20 emails.

When she received the required number of donations, she emailed the school a donation form and her son’s student ID so they could pick up the prizes that Monday.

Needless to say, her son was over the moon with excitement.

Mistakes Were Made

woman cant believe it

However, when they went to pick up the prize, the teacher said it wasn’t enough and told them it only counted after receiving 20 donations. Consequently, all the other students who thought they had got prizes were disappointed too.

“They turned damn near every student away,” the mother wrote, “not just my kid.”

The School Let The Students Down

woman shocked

The mother was outraged by this and sent her son and father out to pull aside the teacher and principal to let them know her opinion about getting the students “hopes up for absolutely nothing” and “lying to their faces.”

When they responded with an explanation about COVID-related issues, she angrily retorted that this did not excuse lying to students or breaking their spirits.

They Vented Their Frustrations

woman arguing

“Oh. So lying to students and breaking their spirits is okay because of Covid?” the mother said. “Failing to provide virtual learning for the rest of the week like other schools is okay because of Covid? Asking for donations when the kids are only here once a week must be okay, too, right?”

The School Apologized For The Mishap


Much to her surprise, a few days later, the superintendent sent her son headphones as an apology, with a note expressing their regret for the confusion caused by the school system.

Her Husband Made Her Feel Bad

father and son

The husband believes that the mother was too involved and looked like an a***ole helicopter parent and a “Karen,” while the mother does not think she is in the wrong.

Now she is starting to question herself: was she being an a***ole?

How Social Media Reacted 

social media

Many people expressed their outrage at the school’s actions on social media, deeming it unacceptable and a form of manipulation.

Others felt that the school had taken advantage of the students’ hopes during a difficult time and urged the parents to be vigilant in holding the school accountable for its actions.

They Knew What They Were Doing

disappointed child

“It sounds more like a pyramid scheme than a fundraiser, and by not laying out clear guidelines for prizes, it allowed them to pull crap like this,” one person commented. “They knew exactly what they were doing.”

They Got Their Hopes Up

womn annoyed by something

“As a teacher myself, that’s messed up. Can’t believe the school actually did that to the kids after everything that’s going on,” one person said.

“They basically lied and got their hopes UP. You did the right damn thing. Next time, they know not to play stupid games. I do hope the other kids were given a prize too,” they added.

The School Lied

school building

“They lied and tried to cover it up by blaming you,” said another. “You taught your son to hold people accountable for the truth. Is this a public school? Because if it is a private school, I would not pay their tuition at all. They are not teaching.”

“Seriously, her son sounds like he goes to the Arbonne elementary school,” one person joked.

Was She Being a Karen?

woman grinning happily

“Your husband needs to look up the definition of a Karen; you handled this like a… Well, I don’t know what they call badass moms,” one person wrote. “I vote we should use your name because this is exactly how you handle that situation.”

Was She Being a Karen?

woman reading book

Yep! This is the thing I don’t like about Karen being a thing,” one person said. “It’s now a way to browbeat people (especially women) away from causing a stink about actual problems. It’s kind of misogynistic and a tool to keep ‘uppity women’ in line.”

Her Husband Was Disrespectful

shy dad

Other users agreed. “OP’s husband is being pretty disrespectful if she gets called a Karen every time she steps up for what is right. Who says that to their wife anyway?”

Read More: The Worst Things Teachers Have Confiscated

woman teacher picturing something

Teachers have seen it all. So we asked them: what was the worst thing they had ever confiscated from a student?

Their answers would be enough to put you off the teaching career for life.

Read Now: The 20 Worst Things Teachers Have Confiscated From Students

Read More: She Didn’t Want Her Son To Sleep At His Girlfriend’s Because “Something Felt Very Off”— And She Was Right

teen relationship

To a child, parents’ rules and restrictions may seem arbitrary and controlling. While the occasional rule might be strict, hindsight usually reveals that—more often than not—a parent’s intuition was right.

Read Now: She Didn’t Want Her Son To Sleep At His Girlfriend’s Because “Something Felt Very Off”— And She Was Right

Read More: Dad Let His Son Take “Toy” To Show and Tell, Not Knowing What It Really Was

father and son playing

When Mom’s away, Dad and son will play.

Read More: Dad Let His Son Take “Toy” To Show and Tell, Not Knowing What It Really Was

Read More: Teaching or Chatting?

smart student

Did you know that up to 45% of all Americans have a side gig? Do you?

We found probably one of the most enjoyable, rewarding ways to earn money by teaching (chatting) with those who want to learn English online. Log in any time you want, 24/7, and get paid weekly for the hours you put in.

Learn More: Cambly 2023 Review, Requirements & Pay For Tutors (Beginner Friendly)

Read More: The Time I Ruined My High School Teacher’s Career and Got Her Fired in the Greatest Way Possible

teacher scolding student

A story about a high school student who was mistreated by his teacher and got her fired.

Read Now: The Time I Ruined My High School Teacher’s Career and Got Her Fired in the Greatest Way Possible.

This article Mother Flipped Out on Her Son’s School After They Lied to Him About Donation Prizes was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Our article has been inspired by Reddit and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments