Mother Flipped Out on Her Son’s School After They Lied to Him About Donation Prizes. Was She Wrong?

A furious mother received more than 27,000 reactions and over 1,300 comments on social media for her story about how she flipped out on her son’s school when they lied to him about donation prizes.

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.

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.”

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 to headphones prize.

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. Surprisingly, 14 people generously contributed to their cause! She then 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.

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 mother was outraged by this and sent her son and father out to pull aside the teacher and principal in order 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.

“Oh. So lying to students and breaking their spirits is okay because of Covid?” she 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?”

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.

The husband believes that the mother was too involved and looks like an AH helicopter parent and a “Karen,” while the mother does not think she is in the wrong. Is she wrong for what she did?

READ MORE: Dad Won’t Let His Daughter Speak Her “Native” Language at Home, Is He Wrong?

How Social Media Reacted 

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.

“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.”

“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 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.

Is She Being a “Karen”?

“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.”

Another person responded. “Being a Karen is when you make an overly dramatic scene over something that either doesn’t matter or isn’t actually an issue. You made a point to pull the principal aside and not make a public scene to make a legitimate point.

Yep! This is the thing I don’t like about Karen being a thing,” added another. “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.”

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?”

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.

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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.

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