Teacher called my 5 yr old a CRYBABY in class.

Karen - posted on 04/10/2012 ( 287 moms have responded )

11

25

0

My 5 year old son came home from school today and told me his teacher called him a "Crybaby." She called on him to read in reading group in front of the other kids and he wasn't paying attention and lost his place in the packet. He began to cry.

I sent her an email and she said, (QUOTE, CUT and PASTED),

"I didn’t call him a crybaby. He started crying because he got behind due to the fact that he wasn’t listening and doing what he was supposed to. I made the statement that we do not have crybabies in our classroom but he has never been called one. That would be very unprofessional for me to call him or any other student a name. Thanks!" (END QUOTE)

MY RESPONS=

By using the word “crybabies,” it’s too close a reference in that context. It’s clear what you meant to say, but I would strongly suggest you not use that term in school. My son understood you to call him a crybaby and other students would as well. I do not wish to argue the fine points. Thanks! (END QUOTE)



What are your feelings and how would you handle this??? I now feel she is going to target him until the end of shoool year.

BTW.....This is the SECOND time this has happened!

SUGGESTIONS PLEASE?

This conversation has been closed to further comments

287 Comments

View replies by

Suzie - posted on 04/11/2012

8

0

0

You did the right thing. I would call and request a meeting with the principal as soon as possible.

If it's the second time, it's not getting better so the principal needs to know so she can do what's in the best interest of your child and the other students in his classroom. Let us know how this works out.

Leslie - posted on 04/11/2012

7

1

0

Karen~
I truly hope you have gotten some useful advice here. I think the majority of us other Moms really mean well in offering our opinions. I know I can speak for myself when I say that I try to put my self in your exact position and think of what I would do in your shoes before I shared.

This forum is a place for Mothers to ask for, and share, advice with each other.
There is no need for personal attacks on the person asking the question or on the other commenters. While we are all entitled to our opinions, there is no need to air them in this manner and on this forum.

Talk about setting an example for our kids!
Let's play nice; or as my Mom used to say, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" :-)

Sarah - posted on 04/11/2012

219

5

14

! Go to the

principal

!! That is ridiculous! If that had happened to my child all hell would break loose he's 5! That is BULLYING! she should be fired! Apparently she does not know how to work well with kids and needs to be put out

Anita - posted on 04/11/2012

20

39

0

report the teacher to the state for verbal abuse. It's illegal for her to even use that word in the context that it was used and her e-mail is admission of verbal abuse. Schools are held to the same laws as nursing homes in that respect and if a worker in the nursing home were to even use the word in that context, they would be immediately terminated for verbal abuse. I really am considering homeschooling my youngest two. This is the 3rd post I have seen of teachers getting away with abusing our children.

Donna - posted on 04/11/2012

24

42

1

Kathleen Green- I'm sorry but your wrong. This kid is being labeled a crybaby by the teacher & if he hears that she called him a crybaby then the rest of the class hears it that way also. He's going to be picked up & teased & bullied. That's what's wrong teachers have to remember who they are dealing with & especially a kid who's 5 years old how 2 speak to a 5 year old. She could have said it a different way without embarrassing him.

Donna - posted on 04/11/2012

24

42

1

This is the 2nd time this has happened? I would bring this email with her response & yours to the principal-she has already targeted your son if this is the 2nd time. She's bullying your son. He is now going to be remembered as the boy who was called a crybaby by Mrs. whatever her name is. Your son is only 5 years old & instead of the teacher helping him she just labeled him a crybaby. If your son sees it as her calling him one the rest of the students will to. This could lead to teasing & bullying from his classmates. I would def bring this to the attention of the principal before it goes any further.

Erinn - posted on 04/11/2012

10

11

0

I think this teacher is ridiculous if she thinks a 5yr old is not going to interpret what she said as calling him a "crybaby". I certainly agree with you & I also would have had a serious problem w/ this. Certainly if your child is repeatedly not paying attention she should take him aside & speak to him or schedule a conference w/ you. However let's be real here, he is ONLY 5!!

I would definitely talk to the principal. Being that its close to the end of the year, its probably not worth switching classes but if it wasn't I would probably fight to have my child removed from this teacher's class. Good luck.

Samantha - posted on 04/11/2012

120

0

2

Call me strict/harsh, but I've told 3 year olds not to cry when they are frustrated over something (cannot put on their shoes or jacket, having trouble eating with a fork) because they are not babies, and I know that they can use their words and ask for help. I would have said the same thing to a 5 year old. But the key there is you give them a suggestion of what to do instead of crying, help them take the first step to solving the problem instead of getting stuck on it.

Karen - posted on 04/11/2012

1

32

0

My opinion is that when the teacher made the statement that they do not have cry babies in class that she was calling him a cry baby. I would talk to the principal and have him moved to another class asap.

Kathleen - posted on 04/11/2012

138

4

21

OK. All feelings aside. I am tired of having every word anyone says that is not 100% politically correct causing such uproars. Yes, he is 5 and it is natural for him to cry when he feels frustrated or singled out. Yes, the teacher should have chosen better words. However, your son will have to learn to cope in the world; and as the world is asking kids to grow up so much sooner than ever before, the lessons need to start sooner. Try having a conference with the teacher and your child where the teacher explains that she did not mean to call him a cry baby just that she wanted him to know that he needs to try to not cry every time a situation does not go in his favor. This is no different than when you taught him to stop throwing tantrums when he was a bit younger. The teacher most likely loves your child but as she has at least 17 other kids in the class she does not have time to gently diffuse such situations. Crying among 5 year olds is contagious. We as parents want everyone to believe that our child is the best ever. While I belive this about my children. I also know that not everyone else thinks the same about them. I have to temper my reactions accordingly and try to put myself in the shoes of my children's teachers and principals and other adults in their lives. Can I honestly say that I would do better on those situations? Forgive the teacher. Teach your son to forgive. If he truly cannot function in her class, have him moved. But keep in mind that someday, you will not be able to fix some situation for him. Will he be able to handle it on his own?. Or will he run away?

Alma - posted on 04/11/2012

3

2

0

I would call for a meeting with the principal,the teacher and myself.I would Get to the bottom of this matter ASAP !

Pearl - posted on 04/11/2012

4

13

0

OK so she thinks she did not call him a crybaby well I would take it to the principal as she did call him a crybaby and she needs to realize it. He and all the kids in the class know it. Now if a bunch of 5 year olds know it she should be able to understand what she said!

Krista - posted on 04/11/2012

12,562

16

842

And all of you that are telling her to run to the principal, the teacher was just trying to tell him to suck it up and act like a big boy. Something his mommy obviously doesn't do!!!

That's right...let's toughen up those 5-year olds. After all, it's not manly to cry.

You know, I remember crying in school once when I was 6. Our teacher had announced everybody's roles in the school pageant, and I was overlooked and didn't have a role. I was disappointed and started to cry. The teacher said, "Just a minute, class" and took me aside and gently asked me what was wrong. I explained, and she fixed the problem by doing a bit of creative rearranging of roles in the pageant, and it all worked out. If she had instead responded by saying, "We don't have crybabies in our classroom," then I don't doubt that such a gratuitously mean statement would have crushed and humiliated me utterly.

Yes, we want to teach our children emotional resilience. But subjecting them to humiliation is not the way to go about it.

Stacy - posted on 04/11/2012

1

14

0

I just want you to know I have two sons. One is 15 and the other is 13.I would have showed up at school to talk to the principle and teacher the next day. I disagree with what Dottie has said. I think what you did was right. If you don't stand up for your children, how are they suppose to stand up for them selves? You would just be allowing people to run all over them. I'm sorry but I am still standing up for my children and will continue until they tell me to stop! Also, if she targets him out, definetly go talk to principle. Good luck!

Heather - posted on 04/11/2012

534

65

0

Tell her that it's not nice to TEASE children. Especially if they lose their place while reading, and they start to cry, it's because they get nervous. Tell her that if she does it again, you will report her to the principal and have a meeting with other parents and students in her classroom to see how many other students that she has done this to.



If someone ever said that to my son, I would have her head on a platter. My child would not be in her classroom anymore and I would be trying to get her fired.



That's Bullying, and it is NOT ok! I would go tell the principal now. Call and make a meeting with them regarding your child ASAP. This is NOT ok. The principal WILL have a meeting with the teacher about this. You can also request to have a meeting with the teacher, your son, and the principal. Have the the teacher tell him that she's sorry and that it won't happen again. Also tell your son that it's never ok for anyone to tease or bully him. This teacher is teaching kids that it's ok to bully and tease others, and it's not ok!!!

Flo - posted on 04/11/2012

48

18

0

I have always been a very involved parent and would go to the school a lot of volunteer and whatnot.. I had to handle a few of these problems myself. If this has happened twice ask if he can be moved to another class. You do not want your 5 yr. old to already hate school, some teachers are bullys and justify thier actions. I ended pulling my daughter out of school, due to a teacher who was a bully and wouldn't stop. My daughter is in 5th grade and never had a teacher not like her so this was wierd... It comes down to this is thier problem and shoulnd't be your kids. Please continue to be his advocate... But something should be done and quick b4 it gets any worse.

Dottie - posted on 04/11/2012

33

1

0

...annnddd all these parents who are telling her to go to the "principle", should maybe brush up on their spelling skills for their children's benefit instead of looking to pick, pick, pick...

Amaka - posted on 04/11/2012

1

0

0

Please report further to the head of school and if you have lost confidence in the teacher, let the school authority know so the teacher can be monitored. Or better still have his class changed. I have had similar experiences. Best of luck

Leslie - posted on 04/11/2012

7

1

0

Wow! This must be a really tough situation for you as a Mom!
While I agree with the commenter who said "sometimes a little reality is in order. We cannot protect our kids from everything," I vehemently disagree with anyone who insinuates that is anything OTHER THAN OK for a 5 year old in Kindergarten to cry! FOR. ANY. REASON!
Children cry for various reasons and there is no situation I can think of to call (or imply) a 5 year old (or any other elementary aged child) a crybaby because he was embarrassed in front of his classmates!
I am most certainly NOT an expert on early childhood development or education but my Mom was a teacher and I have MANY elementary aged teacher friends. I do know the requirement in my state includes courses in early childhood development and psychology. I do not have to have taken those classes to know that children are literal thinkers. As a Mom, I have done a lot of reading and studying on my own about how we speak to children; both our own and other children. They do not have discretionary skills which is what this teacher is assuming if she honestly thinks your son does not feel he was called a crybaby. She may as well have, in his little mind.
The fact that she is even arguing this point, rather than simply apologizing and admitting her error concerns me! It does make me question her abilities as an early education teacher.
Since this issue is not as personal to me as it is to you, it is easier to step back and see both sides of the issue. While I am certainly not excusing her behavior or words, I do believe everyone makes mistakes and deserves the benefit of the doubt. I also agree with those who said email is perhaps not the best way to have this conversation. I have seen on more than one occasion how "tones" and attitudes can be incorrectly perceived through email or text.
I think if it were me, I would visit the school unannounced and at a time when I could observe at least a few moments of regular classroom activity, but perhaps close to lunch time or the end of the day when there might also be an opportunity for a private conversation. Though I think it would be hard to stay composed about such an emotional issue, I think perhaps I would share just how upset my son was over the incident and say I wanted a chance to have a face to face conversation about what happened. Then, rather than saying anything else, let her take the conversation from there and see where is goes.
If you approach her calmly and without a word or demeanor to make her feel attacked, her reaction should speak volumes. If she is immediately defensive without reason from you, it's a pretty good indicator of guilt/ admission of fault. We all do it; it's human nature to get defensive when we're wrong.
However, if she continues without apologizing, and/ or the situation happens again, I would certainly make an appointment with the principal (and let the teacher know that is your next course of action). It should not be a threat but as a parent it is your job and right to speak out for your child and his well-being, both physical and emotional.
I wish you much luck with your next steps! It can be a very precarious spot to be in when you want to do what's best for your child! Putting a child between yourself and the authority figure at school can cause more problems with the administration and sometimes with other kids. At the same time, only you know when you and your child are comfortable with this relationship.

Colleen - posted on 04/11/2012

1

10

0

If this is the second time, I would absolutely voice my concerns to the principle. My sense in reading the teacher's response and her lack of sensitivity is that she has treated other children this way as well. Principle's can't address a problem they don't know is there. Maybe other parents have already spoken up about this teacher, who knows. The more that parents speak out, the more likely you are to get action. Also, I think that teacher owes your child an apology and I would ask for it. I' m guessing that if your child called another child a crybaby, he would be made to apologize. We always make our children apologize but adults don't apologize for doing the same things. We're supposed to not only model the right way to treat others but also the right way to make amends when you make a mistake. It doesn't matter that she didn't directly call him a crybaby. What matters is that is the message your son heard and he was hurt by it. Just because he's only 5 or 6 doesn't mean he doesn't deserve an apology.

Victoria F - posted on 04/11/2012

10

0

1

Go to the principal and have a meeting there is no big deal but it's a issue that's need to be highlighted to the teacher and the principal that there was an incident like that and you both emailed each other good luck .

Georgia - posted on 04/11/2012

4

26

0

@Rochelle Delain ... So if he had been unable to read a word and the teacher said "We don't have stupid people in our class" it would have been acceptable because it was an implication and not an outright insult? smh

Georgia - posted on 04/11/2012

4

26

0

First of all, it's obviously she is implying that he is a crybaby with her "We don't have crybabies in our class" comment. If she doesn't understand this, or why it's wrong, I question her decision to become a teacher.

Secondly, I recommend going to the principal. Let him/her know the situation and ask to have your child moved.

Also, something to think about, has this perhaps happened to other students? If so, maybe a group of parents presenting the situation to the principal together would get the message across more effectively that you don't appreciate the teacher's implications.

Beth - posted on 04/11/2012

178

0

8

OH MY GOD this is completely unacceptable, and I'd be talking to the principal. You absolutely do not use words like "crybaby" with a group of small children, even if you're not directly referencing anyone. You're still teaching them that name calling is ok. And, when a 5 year old cries, it's out of fear or sadness, and to not acknowledge those feelings in such a young child is completely unprofessional. She should not be a kindergarten teacher if she can't properly handle a crying child, for God's sakes.

User - posted on 04/11/2012

4

0

0

I would print those emails and go to the principle. This is very unprofessional and borders on verbal abuse. If she can't encourage children she should not be teaching.

Bonnie - posted on 04/11/2012

4,813

22

257

I would show the email to the principal and report her. She may not have directly called him a cry baby, but she certainly implied that he was being one.

Carolyn - posted on 04/11/2012

1

7

0

Try talking with the principal and mention that you will be speaking with your local member of parliment if nothing is done to rectify the situation. My guess is your son and you will receive a formal appology xo

Rochelle - posted on 04/11/2012

54

20

2

I think everyone is making WAY too big a deal out of this. Yes, the teacher probably could have used a better choice of words but it is really NOT that big a deal. Now if she had actually called him a crybaby, stupid or something like that to his face that is different. We have a son who will be 5 in a few days and he had a problem with hitting other kids for a while. We used a similar statement when told him that we are not raising bullies in this our house. We were not saying he was a bully and we told him so but we told him that the behavior was out of character for what our family believes and if he continues, he will be seen by his friends and teachers as a bully and no one will want to play with him. When he did hit the other kids there was always a consequence at home. Sometimes a little reality is in order. We cannot protect our kids from everything. Yes, 5 year olds cry. We still deal with this with our son but it is up to us to teach him when it is appropriate to cry but also how to cope with unpleasant circumstances. And I totally disagree with those who say you ought to go straight to the principle or make it viral on social media. Without a face to face meeting with the teacher, first, that is only asking for a fight. Meet face to face with the teacher first with an open mind. Do not come into the meeting with a chip on your shoulder. Hear her out before you point a finger in accusation. To make this into something that it may not be without first meeting face to face, hearing each other out, and at least trying to come to an understanding is just plain stupid and immature. Also, deal with the behavior of the child. Crying in itself is not wrong but jumping in a rescuing him all the time teaches him that he does not have to cope with anything unpleasant because Mama will always be there to fix things. Five year olds are still pretty young and DO cry but at some point they must be taught to cope without having to cry about every little thing. This is s work in progress for us also so I am not judging you. We want our son to show appropriate emotion but also to be a strong, well adjusted and able to cope with difficulty as he gets older. That way he will not become an automatic target for bullies and he will be able to succeed in life even in the worst of circumstances.

User - posted on 04/11/2012

616

0

87

Is she kidding????!! I would have went off!!!(when my son wasnt around) Sounds like "we dont have crybabies" does mean she referenced him as a crybaby. Yes we parents will probably have times students call our children names for whatever reason, No its not right, but can happen, BUT we dont need to worry about teachers name calling, thats rediculous. I'd think that teachers are caring and would understand that kids are not going to pay attention every single minute. They are kids!! She didnt blantenly say it to him, but kids are not dumb, they know what she meant, and in front of the whole class, what nerve she had saying that. I havent got to that point with my son yet, but I am planning on homeschooling, and this is just another reason to teach him myself. Now that poor mom has to worry about how her son is being treated by the person she's supposed to trust to take care of him. What a shame.

Donna - posted on 04/11/2012

1

0

0

omg I would NEVER allow my child to remain in a class with a teacher that speaks this way to children. Children do cry and at the age of 5 I expect my child's teacher to nurture and be sensitive. I'd go to the principal and have his class switched, because he likely will be a target until the end of school.

Ashley - posted on 04/11/2012

12

40

0

As a teacher she is to set an example. Her actions are not good examples for other students. Why bring up the subject of crybabies if she wasn't intending to call your child one. This is a matter that should be brought up to the principal. If for nothing else but to get it on record with the school. I do like how you handle the situation so far. Just take that extra step to help prevent it from happening again.

Suzanne - posted on 04/11/2012

1

13

0

Talk to the principal. This attitude the teacher is having and the words she is using are bulling to me. And the fact she uses the term "no crybabies" in class in front of the other students is setting up for his classmates to use that term towards him. Your son is young and needs love and encouragement at school not humiliation. Good luck

Dora - posted on 04/11/2012

642

31

109

I would definitely bring this up to the principal. What she did was very unprofessional and the way she respoded to your e-mail was also very unprofessional. Teachers need to realize that what you say to a child or around a child sticks with them forever. I know first hand about this because it happened to me when I was in 4th grade and then again in 7th grade. I am now 35yrs old and remember it like it was yesterday. If you don't know how to handle things in a positive manner no matter what the situation is then DON'T be around children. They are very impressionable and it's NOT fair to them.

Deanna - posted on 04/11/2012

280

32

0

I suggest sending copies of the email to her principal and the superintendant of the school. That is very unacceptable for a teacher to say in front of the class. She just gave the class permission to call him names and to bully him.
Normally I don't say anything about these things, but because you emailed the teacher and got confirmation from her she said it, I will. Forward the email and then make an appointment to talk to the principal about it. That is just rude and counterproductive. She just showed she isn't a good teacher.

ELSIE - posted on 04/11/2012

1

0

0

I agree to talk to her principal would be the best as this was the second time it happened. It will not stop until someone stands up to this bully/teacher.
Bring your saved email's to share with the principal to prove your son's teacher had said that and is aware of what she has said.
If nothing happens then go further up the line to the assistant superintendent and so forth and so on until your son is moved to another class or you get the response that satisfies you.
Prove your point, make a fuss let the people at this school (I mean other parents) aware of the bully their child has for a teacher.

Karla - posted on 04/11/2012

5

3

0

I would take it to the principal. Your son is only 5 and should not be spoken to in that way by an adult or any one else. Also the teacher is probably going to continue saying things like this because you not only didn't confront her face to face but didn't report it to the principal.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/11/2012

19,033

9

3003

I would be contacting the administration asap concerning this. Print out all the e mails and bring them in to review. if they do nothing (this is considered bullying by the way) take it to the school board. She is completely unprofessional....and an idiot. Lets see if we can make her cry, and tell her we don't like crybabies as teacher.

User - posted on 04/11/2012

1

0

0

I would print out the emails and hand them to the principal and tell him "I think the emails speak for themselves and my sons class needs to be changed by the end of the week."

I would not ask them I would tell them what was going to happen in a nonconfrontational way that left no room for debate.

He IS your child and you get to make the decisions regarding where, how and with whom he spends his time. End of story.

If this was a pd for daycare you would move him and public school really is no different, it's just that we pay with our taxes. You are the customer and the customer is always right.

[deleted account]

You absolutely did the right thing. We are our children's advocates, and I believe we need to stand up for them if they are wronged, or feel they have been wronged. We should behave in a controlled, professional manner (just as any advocate would), so that we could clearly get our point across without seeming "too emotional" (because then, we wouldn't be taken seriously). And I think you did just that. If anymore incidents happen in school, I think you should continue to address them accordingly (even if a higher up has to get involved)!

Jenna - posted on 04/11/2012

187

51

16

I would definitely have emailed the teacher. But if it's the second time that it has happened, I would have a conference with the principal. I used to teach school and that is completely inappropriate. I'm still trying to convince my husband that it's inappropriate and degrading to say that about our kids or to our kids. We have one son in particular who is very sensitive and tears up over any little thing and I constantly have to tell my husband that calling him a crybaby isn't going to make him stop crying. It's going to hurt his feelings and make him cry more for now. And then someday it will only serve to stifle his emotional side. Which is too bad because we NEED more guys who are in touch with their feelings and I don't want my son to have to bury that part of his personality.

I definitely feel like the teacher is in the wrong here. It is not right to use negative words like that about children. Then they learn to do it as well and it's degrading. She needs to find an uplifting way to redirect him.

Marksonmindy - posted on 04/11/2012

3

5

0

I would go to the principal and ask to move him if that's possible in my child's school there is only one class for each grade.

Miranda - posted on 04/11/2012

43

25

1

This might be an experience (or lack there of) issue. I would guess that this is a younger teacher; maybe her 1st or 2nd year teaching? It's not an excuse but a learning opportunity for her. The words used are very strong and since she's teaching your son and her other students to treat people with respect, that phrase is very hurtful to hear. If I were in this situation, an email would not be the proper place to address your son's feelings. I would schedule a time to meet with the teacher to discuss your sons feelings and make sure that your concerns are expressed. After that, if feelings are hurt again by the teacher, you have more reason to contact the principal to discuss your concerns again.

Jenn - posted on 04/11/2012

1

16

0

I had an issue like this with my daughter and her teacher in Kindergarten. My daughter is 7 now. I first addressed the teacher in email and got a similar response back. I then made an appointment with the Teacher, myself and my daughter. To say the least it got a little ugly. The teacher said that she wasn't calling my daughter a cry baby but was just saying that there are no crybabies in school. Which in actuality, my daughter said (and my daughter,even now, doesn't/didn't lie). I flipped out. Especially after she called my daughter a liar and said that you can only believe half of what comes out of kids mouths. After that I took my daughter and marched myself right into the Prinicipals' office. That was the last issue we had with that teacher.

Krista - posted on 04/11/2012

12,562

16

842

I would definitely request a meeting with the principal, and bring that email with you. The fact that she didn't even recognize the inappropriateness of her actions, and instead started playing games with semantics...well, that raises a big red flag for me.

I mean seriously, she was very obviously inferring that your son is a crybaby, and is insulting your intelligence by pretending otherwise. Plus, kids pick up on things. What are the odds that some of the other kids are going to start calling your kid a crybaby, now that the teacher has indirectly labeled him as such.

I would request a meeting with the principal, but remain calm and cool and collected, and just speak about how you are very concerned that not only did the teacher infer heavily that your son is a crybaby, in front of his entire class, but that she does not even recognize how inappropriate and unprofessional that is. Then ask him or her what he would suggest "we" do to solve this problem. Position yourself as part of a team with the principal, working together to solve an issue, instead of storming into his office making demands, and you will probably get better results.

Liz - posted on 04/11/2012

4

2

0

She has a boss, I would make sure to take a copy of that email too. Teachers should not name call period, even in reference, it is unprofessional.

Amelia - posted on 04/11/2012

12

0

0

I would be taking it to the principal. She did call him a crybaby by the statement she used because of the context in which it was used. That term has absolutely no place in a classroom and its pretty much guaranteed the wau she was talking to him was not kind. Five year olds, most especially boys, have a very short attention span and distract easily. I would have my child removed from her class immediately and a long conversation had with the administrator.

Heather - posted on 04/11/2012

1

10

0

She didn't even apologize for her action! She tried to justify it kids don't listen even from time to time. Go to the principal if your not satisfied go higher!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms