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

That’s bullshit. I would not have changed the plans and my kid would have walked away with a zero. It’s one lab. It’s not going to hold an incredible amount of weight once it’s averaged with the rest of his grades. I would totally take it to the principal and argue the case that you specifically made plans to avoid missing schoolwork.


Yeah… I had to learn the hard way. We were totally honest about leaving for a week to go to WDW back when DD18 was in middle school. We notified all the teachers, got homework done in advance and turned in everything before leaving.

Upon our return, I had to go to the principal’s office for a lecture about how this was an unexcused absence and I was a bad parent for pulling my kid out of school. Furthermore, I could be subject to
have a Truancy Officer come to my home and fine / arrest me if I ever did it again. (This principal was a real douche!)

I was told only absences for illness were acceptable. So, I replied, “Should I have just told you she was sick and not been honest / got her school work done in advance?”

“Well… that wouldn’t be a good thing to do as it’s lying, but yes we would have excused the absence with no issues.”

I stood up, said that’s what I’ll do next time and left. I’ve never had an issue with it again. I told my daughter not to tell her teachers when we go and to wait until after she went back to school to post all her pics on social media.


That’s just horrible. I actually approached our middle school principal during orientation and asked how he felt about kids missing a few days for family vacations. His answer was that if the student was doing well, he saw no issue with up to 3-4 days away. I pulled him right around Veteran’s Day weekend for a day and a half to go to WDW. The school couldn’t have been nicer (and we submitted his project on Thursday before we left). We had parent teacher conferences the day before we left and they all told us to have a fabulous time. I prefer my school’s stance on the topic!


I’ve been very worried about this myself but so far so good. I had no problem at my kids’ first school but we’ve changed and I didn’t know how it would go over. But I booked the trip 1.5 yrs ago and the school change happened later. I guess I won’t really know how it went until the holiday is over…

Retired teacher here. The directive may be coming from administration and the teacher is doing what he was told to do. Depending upon the state, the district may lose money if students are not in attendance. If all students start to decide to skip the last day before a holiday, the financial loss can be considerable. We had a strict policy of not giving any early finals. Before you booked the flights, you should have gotten permission in writing from the administration.


I’m sure that your son wasn’t the only one impacted by the last minute change in the due date. I wonder what stories you will hear once kids come back to school—and I wonder what it will mean for the future for such things at the school. We almost had 3 days of a week long spring break pulled, by the county / state, last year, a few days before the break. The outcry from the public was so bad that they found a legal loophole and reinstated it a day before the break was supposed to happen. I had already shaved one day off our hotel stay but my kids would have missed 2.

It certainly was an expensive lesson learned. I won’t be taking my son out of school any days before vacation breaks. I understand the school policy, even though it is unnecessarily ridged, IMO,

The issue here is that the teacher changed the due date to a later date from his online syllabus at the last minute (literally yesterday) and did so gleefully, because he actually cited the school policy in his email. Very petty behavior.


I don’t think the teacher was directed by the administration to move the lab report due date from Thursday to Friday. He did this on his own knowing what the effect would be for Friday absentees.


Is it possible that the teacher thought he would be actually doing a FAVOR for many students to give them an extra day to get the lab done? I mean, if you remove how it directly impacted you, I find it difficult to believe a teacher would purposely move the due date of the lab JUST to cause trouble for people…but in moving the due date, he also felt obligated to remind folks of the policy.

I mean, I’m not saying he couldn’t have…but I have to believe he wasn’t setting out to be jerk or anything. Unless he’s usually a jerk.

From what the OP said, if he was just doing some students a favour, why wouldn’t he accept the assignments early?

I wonder if the students have to be present to hand it in, or can a friend hand it in?


That is a very good question. Perhaps it goes back to how policy is written.

If it was against school policy to alter the due date, then you have a good case. Otherwise, it’s probably within his rights to make the change (even if if was not made with positive intent). If I were a teacher, I’d be upset with my administration if they forced me to yield to the parent in this situation.

In general for anyone reading this, if you are pulling your child out of school for any reason, get permission from from both the administration and the counseling office. If you are in a small district, you might need permission from the school board. Then follow up with nice emails to each teacher explaining what is happening. This way you have everything covered, you can safely book your travel plans, and there is no drama leading up to your trip.

Come on, really?

The teacher’s note, to take note of the handbook statement around day before/after vacation absences, along with the smug nature of his email, clearly underscores he is putting on his “hostile resting face” and wearing it proudly.


This is insane. Absolutely idiotic.
There is no way I’d incur those costs.
I’d do whatever battle I had to afterward, or even allow the zero to rest, before I let that teacher ruin my vacation.
I hate this stuff.
He had the work DONE! This is so stupid.

I’m sorry you bit the bullet and accommodated things. I’m sure you were operating under salvage mode. You did the best you could.

Is this a private school? Oh man - I’m disgusted.

Please put this behind you for the duration of the trip and enjoy yourselves.

And then pick up the fight again after. Someone should be held accountable for this absurdity.


There are multiple sides to any story. All I’m trying to look at are other motivations that MIGHT be involved.

So, let’s say the OP was not planning to take their son out, and the teacher was feeling particularly generous to his students, giving them a last minute reprieve as an additional day. He might even be doing it for somewhat selfish reasons because he doesn’t want to come up with lesson plans for Friday. He changes the date, announces in the class, and the class cheers in relief. (Not far-fetched…I’m not too old to remember this very type of thing happening when I was in school…which, admittedly annoyed me because I was very Hermione like and found it irritating that more time was being given that I had put due diligence into finishing early!)

BUT, the teacher, aware of the mandated school policy, thinks it prudent to include the reminder of the policy, since this last minute advantageous change for some does come with consequences.

Smugness is hard to quantify. Smugness is often interpreted based on one’s own circumstances, and not necessarily because any actual smugness was involved. In this case, I have no way to know one way or the other. It could have been smug. It might not have been. Either way, the OP now becomes impacted. Which means the OP reads the situation quite differently from the kid who was in classes who had procrastinated on his lab project!

Of course, another entirely different possibility is that this teacher has heard every excuse in the book and has grown tired of parents ignoring the rules. He may have done this intentionally to make a point.

The point, also, might not be to the parents at all, but as a means to highlight the stupidity of the policy…a kind of “stick it to the man” act of the teacher toward the school board or something else.

There are a lot of possibilities. I like to think of as many possibilities as possible any time I get upset about a circumstance because I might not have all the facts behind what is going on.

REGARDLESS of any of it, I think going to the principal regarding explaining the circumstances should be the way to handle it…whether the teacher meant ill by it or not.

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I would not give a cotton picking penny!


As a high school science teacher who is not a fan of students getting pulled out of school, I too agree that this seems pretty petty. The reason I normally have an issue with this type of thing is I have had multiple instances in the past of students being out the entire week before or after a week long break. The problem from the teacher’s end is that this usually result in the extra work of catching the student back up falls on me. I am sympathetic to the situation of cost of travel, but it does set a perception that school is not important and others will make it work for you in the end. I do work in a public school and literally have no power when it comes to parents…

…having said that, if the assignments done, its done. Why is this teacher starting a fight where there doesn’t seem to need one? I’m not one to go over anyone’s head, but in this case a conversation seems more than justified.


Yes it is a private school.

I appreciate the support and considered fighting, but this all happened last night and our departure date was this Friday AM, so felt like the best way forward was to solve this immediate issue and rebook my wife and son’s flights to after school on Friday. Since the school policy was clear I felt like escalating this to the administration would not ultimately be productive and I didn’t want to start my son’s HS experience with a battle between his parents and the administration.

I do believe though that the teacher did this with malice. As I said, he literally cited the school policy in his email Wednesday afternoon letting the class know the due date moved to Friday. There is no other explanation otherwise the assignment would have been able to be submitted a day early as that was the original due date.


I thought high school was about preparing them for the real world. So what lesson was learned here? The kid followed the rules and did the work early. Seems like he would get a great job review in the real world. So the lesson learned here is adults suck… right? I mean, this teacher obviously has a bone to pick with parents and vacations. I get it, parents are tough to deal with. But why punish the student? He did the work early…but you’ll give him a zero because of an attendance policy?? Despite the one poster saying a zero doesn’t matter, it really does!! You have ten projects and you get a zero on one, you have to get 100% on the remaining ones just to get a 90% (A-). No room for error to get an A!

So sorry this situation unfolded for your family. We wish you plenty of pixie dust moments in the next week to hopefully make you forget!