I thought I left this crap back in high school.

Yesterday morning, Declan skipped over to me chipper as you please and said, “Mama! I learned a new song at afterschool care yesterday!” I was thrilled! New songs = good! “Let’s hear it!,” I exclaimed!

That’s alright!
That’s OK!

You’re gonna pump our gas someday!

I kept my tone really even and I asked, “So, who taught you that song?”

“Miss ______ …(name withheld so I can strangle her later).”

Are you fgjsd;gndsg#ndg kidding me? Your dfgh$sdgks&fbasl teacher taught you that song?

(OK, that’s not what I said).

I told him to come sit down.

And we talked for about 15 minutes about how I didn’t really like to disagree with his teachers, but that I had noticed Miss “X” sometimes says things in ways that I don’t like (she tends to label kids), and that this song was REALLY bad. That he wasn’t in trouble, because he didn’t know what he was saying, but it was a song about making fun of someone for their job, and all jobs are important. That it makes fun of someone for having less money than you, and that Mama had gone to a school that was famous for that (exemplified by a basketball game where a bunch of girls in the stands got up and waved $20 bills at the opposing fans and chanted “we got money and you don’t!”) and Mama really really really doesn’t like that kind of attitude. That when he grows up and chooses a career, we would help him look at the things he is good at, the things he likes to do, and yes, if the job makes enough money to support himself – but that money is not the most important part. And if he decided to work at a gas station because all the aforementioned reasons fit, we would totally support him.


Are you bored? Because Declan was.

And when Bryan got up, I told him, and he was pissed too. (Ha-HA! If Bryan is pissed, then you know it’s bad.) Of course, my ever-smart, ever-logical husband said, “Well, you could have just said you didn’t like the song because it put other people down.” Whatever, MR. SIMPLE. Maybe I like going on and on for 15 minutes until my son nods off and drool dribbles down his chin.

Either way, it has come up several times since, and Declan has repeated snippets from my dissertation, so I know he was listening while he was drooling.

So. Now. The big question. What to do about it.

Bryan and I have come up with several scenarios.

1. Talk to Miss X directly.
2. Talk to the lead teacher of the afterschool care, whom we have a very good relationship with.
3. Gather all the afterschool teachers together and tell them Declan learned this song in their program, that we don’t know who taught it to him (giving her the benefit of the doubt) but that we were very upset about it and the principal would be too (to put it mildly – technically, she would lose her shit).
4. Beat the crap out of Miss X. Oh wait, I think we discarded that one.
5. Talk to the PTA about it.
6. All of the above.

Any suggestions?

This article has 43 comments

  1. Sue at nobaddays

    And, depending on her response, #2 if you’re not satisfied.

  2. Sarah Jackson

    I’d talk to the lead teacher and to the principal. If you talk directly to the teacher, it won’t mean as much as if the lead and the principal talk to her. You’re easy for her to blow off as being too sensitive. They are not. If this is typical behavior for her then her supervisors need to know it so they can explain just how unacceptable it is to them.

    See, I like the long winded explanation as well.

  3. Lisa

    Good question, rough subject. I’m needing to go talk to someone at the school next week about my little man being “bullied” and even though I’m on the damned Policy Action Team for revising the bullying and harrassment policy, I’m not sure who to start with – the teacher, the recess duty people, the principal, or the kid’s parents.

    Good luck with whichever route you choose, and keep us updated as I’d really like to know how your school handles such blatant indiscretions.

  4. Nat

    I would be livid! Simply livid. In fact, I am livid now just reading that.

    I would go right to the principal with this one. Maybe ask for meeting including the lead teacher. Bring Brian with you, for some reason it works better if both parents are there. If this doesn’t work, then I’d contact the PTA.

    The whole school thing is difficult and complicated and frustrating. Alas.

  5. zenrain

    wow, i can’t believe that. i would definitely talk to the teacher…

  6. Anonymous

    unfriggin believable.

  7. Nancy

    I’d check the source first. Make sure the teacher indeed taught it to him/class. If she did teach him and/or the class, I’d ask her to “unteach” it, and tell her you’d like to sit in on that session.

    Um, as a mom of a 19 and 23 y/o … fasten your seat belt … without intent to diminish this incident, it’s nothing compared to other things he will hear/learn in school.

    If it is addressed then dropped, he’ll probably forget about it. If a huge issue is made of it, he’ll never forget … the song.

    “The powers that *cough* be”, knew my ‘tude in my kids school, but I only pulled out the big guns when I was ready to shoot. If you take pot-shots at everything, they’ll ignore the ones that matter and your kids will be come “the one with the mother that….”


  8. Nancy

    (I hate when I make typos)

    ~Ms Type A personality

  9. barbetti

    As someone who works for a school district, I would say to speak directly to the principal. Lead teachers are paid their slightly higher salary to deal with discipline issues within a student body. A principal on the other hand typically deals with teacher policy. Also, teachers (because most are big on their union) would notify their colleagues of the behavior, but not in a reprimanding way. More like a “fyi, a parent said…” sort of way. The lead teacher could be good friends with Miss X and therefore wouldn’t notify her superior (the principal in this case) of the issue as a way to cover Miss X’s ass.

  10. Mamma

    I say buy Miss X a gas station shirt with her own name patch on it. She’ll probably need it after the principal is done with her.

  11. daisybones

    That is utterly infuriating. My head is spinning, jaw on floor, just wow. Wow!

    The suggestions about the principle seem good, but I really think I’d confront the teacher personally as well. WTF just doesn’t quite express the unfuckingblelievable gall, does it?

  12. daysgoby

    Principal. Because they are the head of the school, and ‘start at the top and work down’ seems to be a great adage for this.

  13. villanovababy

    I agree with Nancy…Although my mother (as a teacher who would NEVER say anything like that) would probably say that if you have a problem, come talk to her about it.

  14. Michelle

    I vote #1. Start at the source. Keep us posted on what you do and your results.


  15. zipper

    I am leaning towards lead teacher, since she is the boss of the afterschool program and you have a good relationship with her.

  16. Kendra

    I’m appalled! I could very easily say ‘all of the above’ but I agree 100% with Sarah Jackson’s response. I was the center director for a childcare center for 3 years and I know from experience that going to the lead or principal would be the best route. Good Luck 🙂

  17. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Thanks all, I will share you comments with Bryan, they are very helpful!

    I am still so angry about it – especially given the fact that Declan is ONLY FIVE years old! WTH?

  18. flutter

    #1 for sure, if that doesn’t get the job, then exhaust all the others…

  19. mothergoosemouse

    Shee-it. That’s unbelievable.

    Combo of #1 and #2, prefacing conversation with lead teacher by saying that you’ve spoken directly with the teacher.


  20. Gretchen

    I would talk to the offending teacher and the lead teacher first.


  21. Sizzle

    that definitely warrants some direct action. i would go to the offending teacher and her direct supervisor before i took it to the PTA and Principal but i probably give people too many chances to shape up.

  22. Mr Lady

    Dear god, woman, for the love of god and all that’s holy, DO NOT go to the PTA with it.

    Have you ever BEEN to a meeting?

    The PTA has not one thing to do with the after-program. The PTA is actually not on good terms with the after-care (details emailed if requested ;))

    The prinicipal would flip, but the principal actually doesn’t have a whole lot of jurisdiction over them either, you know? And, she’s kinda distracted right now.

    Having had a few run-ins with them myself, my advice is go to the head teacher. Talking to the one directly isn’t going to do you a ton of good, unfortunatly. The head teacher can and will take care of it for you. THEN talk to the one.

    Good luck, dude.

  23. Karen

    WOW. I can’t believe she taught them that! I would definitely go to the lead teacher, especially since you have a good relationship with her, and make sure someone talks to this teacher about it. That’s just crazy.

  24. Renaissance Woman

    I would say talk with the teacher directly. That is the lesson that hopefully all kids are learning. Deal directly with the person who you have an issue with (hopefully that will resolve the issue). If you do not feel that your feedback was taken, then you could move on to the leader/principal.

    Good parenting skills…your son is lucky to have both of you!

  25. carrie

    I’d go with #2, sounds like the teacher who taught him the song might just not understand if you tried to explain it to her.

    And to make you feel better, I had my niece in the car (4 yr old) and we drove by a “manufactured home.” What does she do? Yells, rather animatedly, “Look, a CRACK house!” she was so excited. So I had the little talk with her, without explaining what crack was (that’s her mom’s job) that it wasn’t nice to say that about people’s homes . . .


  26. Bunny

    #1 and/or #2
    I would not involve the PTA, or gather all the teachers together to discuss it because I think both of these involve way more people than have to be. I think I would definitely speak to the lead teacher, regardless of whether you speak to the one who taught the song or not.

  27. Noble Savage

    Wow, what a disgusting, elitist song. Is it called ‘Spoiled Entitlement’ by any chance?

    I’d talk to Miss X and then, regardless of the outcome, talk to the head teacher to make him or her aware of the situation. I don’t think involving anyone else is necessary at this point, unless you get a shitty response from them. Good luck!

  28. Value wIT

    Well, Mrs. X is a nimrod. Guess she doesn’t know any better, but I guess she needs to be taught. I agree with Sarah that you should tell the principal and let him explain it to her. That way you are out of the firing line in case she takes it out on Declan.

    P.S. Zip over to valuewit.com and sign-up for the email list and pick a goody..they’re cute!

  29. Ali

    honestly…i’d force the husband to take care of it. i don’t have the balls to deal with it…sadly..

  30. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Oh Ali, he might, depending on what route we take, LOL!

  31. monstergirlee

    Holy crap. What a friggen’ idiot. What a shitty SHITTY attitude. How can a person of authority be so short-sighted to teach that kind of elitest attitude? I am stunned.

    I don’t have much of a suggestion for you. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of advice from others who probably know better than I so I’ll keep mum on that.

  32. Autumn

    Holy crap, as mad as I was reading it… I can only imagine how mad you are. I think I would go with #2. I don’t think I would bother going to the teacher first, her judgement is obviously impaired. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

  33. TX Poppet

    I’ve been both a preschool/kindergarten teacher and administrator. Document the incident. It is always better to put your concerns in writing to the principal. Trying to handle this conversationally garbles the message of how important this issue is. Teachers are not teenage babysitters, and you are not paying for (thus implicitely approving of) lessons in how to be cruel and demeaning. Do I sound a little strident? Maybe, but I see this is an issue of professionalism that ought to be handled in a professional mannerso the behaviour won’t continue (or worse, spread).

  34. Beck

    I would go talk to the teacher directly first, because there is always the slight chance that there was a misunderstanding – maybe another kid sang the song or something like that – and I’d like to clear that up before I went to the principal, which is what I’d do next.

  35. Sandy C.

    Oy! What was this person thinking? I would be beside myself too. I would probably go with option #1 or #2, which ever you feel more comfortable approaching and have a better rapport with. I think would have gone on and on with our little one too.

  36. Melissa

    WTF? I am almost speechless at that. If that teacher has done this sort of thing before, I would say go with #1&2. Or #6 after a strong martini.

  37. Anonymous

    inexcusable! go kick her ass!

  38. Shannon

    I would go to the lead teacher first, and let her handle Mrs. X. But, I’m chicken and would probably have my hubby talk to the lead teacher while I stand in the background nodding my head.

  39. Doodaddy

    UnbeLIEVable. The local prep school kids used to chant that to us and we just laughed at how pathetic it was. But to teach it to little kids.

    Rawr. *I* want to call the teacher myself!

  40. Cristina Mathers

    whoa! that’s not smart for a teacher (or really any adult) to do around kids. i say talk to her and if you don’t dig her response, move on up.

    glad your son is so smart, don’t worry my husband would have done the same and i would have done the same as you.

  41. Alpha DogMa

    Start with #2. I think it’s THAT serious.

  42. Candy


    I know it’s your kid, and that trumps all things, but put it in perspective. If you were working in a job, and made a mistake, would you expect someone to come to you or go right over your head and get you in trouble?

    Give her a chance to explain herself. Maybe Declan brought it to you out of context. But don’t go getting her fired until you know the whole story.

  43. Rebecca F.

    I guess I wondered why she taught him that song. Not that I am excusing it at all but what was it in response to?

    Did he learn a more profane version and she was trying to water it down? Was it a chant for P.E.? Some wierd fun thing to sing on the playground?

    I need more information. Did she teach all the kids?

    Can’t wait to hear the resolution. Please update us!

    Rebecca F.

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