Rant - My kid's HS Science teacher is a Jerk!

First off, let me apologize to all of the educators on this forum. Teaching is hard and teachers are not compensated enough for their work . . . on to the rant.

We are leaving tomorrow for a week-long Thanksgiving trip to WDW. I planned and booked this trip well before my son started his Freshmen year at high school. The plan was to leave early AM on Friday, so both my kids would miss one day of school. My kids attendance is good and they are solid students, so I didn’t think missing one day would be an issue.

My son’s high school posts online in advance the due dates for all tests, quizzes and homework. We checked what was upcoming and my son had no tests or quizzes scheduled for the day his was going to miss. For homework, the students can post everything online, so that was not an issue. In other words, everything looked good.

Well, yesterday, Wednesday 11/20, the science teacher decided to move a Lab project that was due today, Thursday 11/21 to FRIDAY 11/22. To add insult to injury, he specifically noted in the email to the students for them to look at the school policy about absences on days before and after vacation breaks. Basically, you get a zero and you cannot arrange for any alternatives either before or after the due date. What this means is that even though my son had completed his Lab assignment for Thursday, (as it was the original due date) since it was now not due until Friday, if he does not attend the class he gets a zero! He cannot turn it in early. The email from the teacher was so snarky too, its like he took pleasure in jamming his students. Who moves assignments later and then would penalize the kids for having it completed on the date it was originally due?

So now I had to change my SWA flights for my wife and son to after school on Friday, so they will miss Epcot (FPPs for TT and MS) on the first day and our dinner at Storybook with some other family that our joining us from New Orleans. :frowning_face:

The change fees for the flights is $300 and I need to arrange for a separate car service from MCO to the Dolphin for them - another $100 – plus the fact that the will not be using one of the days I purchased for their park tickets - I’m kind of ticked off because this was so unnecessary.

My revenge will be when the school seeks donations for the annual fund, like they do every year, I’m tempted to itemize these additional travel expenses and deduct it from our normal yearly contribution. :stuck_out_tongue:


It was due today and yesterday he changed the due date to Friday. And it can’t be turned in early? I don’t think so, go over his head. That’s BS.

Even if you already adjusted your schedule, take it to the department head/ principal. That is unacceptable and needs to be reported.


It sounds like you already might have changed your plans but the teacher’s response isn’t unusual but if you contacted the school’s administration and showed them the date and time you committed to the vacation and the exam schedule that was posted at the time they would have made an exception generally.


I would also talk to the principal. That’s just petty. You planned for ONE day out of school, and were responsible enough to plan around the posted due dates and test schedule. Your son was responsible enough to complete his homework in time for his vacation. I understand why teachers get peeved when kids just take off for vacations with no regard for class, but you didn’t do this with no regard for class. You planned for minimal disruption. And it’s freshman year of HS. Sheesh. I missed a whole lot more university than that and managed to graduate. :roll_eyes:


This is unacceptable to me. And I agree - nobody penalizes a student for turning work in early. He’s just being a dick

Is there a policy? If yes, then even though I agree with you that he’s just being a jerk and deriving pleasure in it, you’re sunk.

SWA doesn’t charge a change fee. Do you mean the fare difference?


I lived in the US for three years and taught at a private high school there. I was astonished by how much power teachers seem to have. None of what you describe would be a thing in a UK school.

What this teacher has done is — to use a technical pedagogical term — bullshit and I would for certain be on the phone to the principal. It’s ridiculous that this last-minute change has caused you such inconvenience and expense. As well as robbing your son of Epcot and Storybook.

I guess the most politic thing to do would be to contact the teacher first, being as nice as possible. Then storming the principal’s office all guns blazing.

For the record, I have devoted my life to education and can think of little that’s more important. And — honest to God — take time of school for a family vacation is in pretty much all cases a better use of time than whatever nonsense we’re trying to teach your child that day.

Useless as it will be, you have my 100% support in this matter!


I seem to recall a British dad getting in trouble in the last few years for exactly this kind of thing. Are there pockets where this is a thing over yonder?

We don’t like to use that metaphor about schools here. :wink:


Oh, well, yes. That’s slightly different. If you take your kid out of school without permission, you can be fined for it. But that’s operated at senior management level, not individual teacher level.

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Is it wrong that that made me chuckle. The one time I try to sound American and I screw it up.


You did fine


It’s actually the local council that issue the fines. Some don’t issue them at all even though they are supposed to, some issue hundreds a year. The rules don’t apply to fee-paying schools.

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Oh gotcha

Let me just stick in a word on behalf of the teacher (although, I agree it is ridiculous).

The problem is that schools see LOTS of instances of parents taking their kids out of school before/after vacations. This disrupts their teaching schedules and lesson plans. As such, I think having such a policy makes sense to protect against this.

Now, then, if you start down the path of granting exceptions to the policy, you end up back in the boat where it becomes up to the teacher to have to make the subjective decision about whether the excuse is legit or not.

So, I can see why the teacher is being a “jerk” about it.

Having said that, I would expect that appealing to the principal would allow the principal to make the decision, and appease the teacher from having to figure out whether it is truly a valid reason or not.


This isn’t even about whether the reason for the absence is valid, this was changing the due date 24 hrs in advance and saying you can’t turn it in early on the original due date.

I get not rescheduling to assist someone in taking a vacation, but this was planned around the class schedule and then the teacher changed it last minute.


Except that’s not what’s happening. Did you just skim the original post?


I didn’t skim. Read every word. Which is why I agreed it is ridiculous. I’m merely trying to give reason to think about from the other side. I think, ultimately, teachers don’t want to have to be the ones having to justify violating policy, which I get. But I think the correct course of action is not to take it out on the teacher, but simply approach the principal and present the situation so that the principal can make the decision.

I’ve been through this before with my kid’s school. The best advice I can give, when you get home, take your kid to a local “urgent care / shot in a box” center. (We have them in our grocery stores in my city)

Tell them your child has not been feeling well, missed school and the school REQUIRES a sick note for reentry. They’ll get you in & out in about 20 minutes and will give you the note even if your child looks fine. The school should be ok with the absence if you bring an official note from a doctor’s office. (Yeah… you’ll have to pay the $20 copay, but that’s better than $300)


I already made the flight changes, but wanted to say that this is a genius idea! The school does require a doctor’s note - ironically only for absences around vacation breaks, every other time a parents’ email that the child is not feeling well is sufficient. Clearly the school is trying to discourage folks taking their kids out of school around holidays - this is why the policy is so punitive.


Yes, the fare difference was $300 because “I wanna get away” fares were no longer available.