While conversing, a ridiculous response can lead to laughter. An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for laughing at why my son was given detention and not agreeing to it?”. We need you to find out!


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The Original Poster (OP) (36F) has a son (11M) in 6th grade we’ll call “Preston” who has a teacher we’ll call “Susan” (50F). 


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Preston is pretty skittish and jumpy, and he quickly gets startled by noises or voices he does not expect, especially if they are loud.

“I only have seen Susan in person twice, but she has a distinctly loud, almost thunderous voice. I never heard her yell yet, though, but Preston says it always makes him jump a little, and she’s known for being ridiculously loud in general from other kids and parents,” says OP. 


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She (OP) works from home, and she got a voicemail from Preston using a school phone saying he got detention because Susan yelled at some kids fooling around during work time. 

He was startled, and she noticed, so she made him leave the room, work in the hallway, and call OP to tell her he had to serve detention next week. 

“I did not believe that was the reason he got detention at all because that sounds dumb, and I assumed he was just minimizing his role (he does tend to do that when explaining his side when in trouble), so I thought I’d get Susan’s side at recess while I went to lunch,” says OP. 


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She (OP) called Susan, and she (OP) was caught entirely off guard when what she (Susan) said lined up with everything Preston said. 

“I wasn’t sure what to say at first, but I ended up just laughing on the phone before any words could come out,” says OP. 


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Susan was irritated and asked what was so funny. OP just responded that she was so sure that Preston was lying to her because that was such a ridiculous reason to give anyone detention and that he is not serving imprisonment just for being startled. 


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Susan tells OP that this is not a suggestion and that she’s being obtuse. 

“I stood firm and asked her if she’d think it appropriate if her boss yelled loudly at some fellow teachers. You were startled, and then he proceeded to deduct her pay or some other form of punishment, following up with, I bet she didn’t even do anything to the kids she was initially yelling at after noticing Preston,” says OP. 


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Susan got quiet for a moment, and OP thought maybe she convinced her, but then she doubled down and said that failing to serve detention would result in suspension or more, and OP told her she’d gladly fight her and the school on this if it came to that before hanging up. 

“I do not intend to punish Preston just for getting startled; we all do it, and it’s nothing worth making any issue out of,” says OP. 


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“If I’m being honest, the only reason I chose to post is that I vented to my friend about this later, and she did not side with me, saying that I was kind of being a jerk to laugh at Susan and that teachers don’t get paid enough to deal with the things I said, so I wanna hear what unbiased people think,” says OP. 


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“Not the jerk. I am startled easily by loud noises, too. Being startled is not a reason to get detention. You were willing and did listen to the teacher. You were willing to believe your kid was lying.

When you found out that your kid was being 100% honest with you and this teacher wanted to give a punishment for being startled, you laughed. I probably would laugh out of disbelief. I would talk to the principal, but you aren’t wrong. This is ridiculous.”


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“Susan was being ridiculous, and laughter was likely one of the kinder reactions the OP could have. He didn’t yell at her, use vulgar or insulting names for her, or otherwise be mean to her in any way. Teachers shouldn’t do stupid things if they don’t want people laughing at their stupidity. How did the friend expect the OP to respond?”


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“Time to go all Mama Bear on the principal.

Teachers complain that principals don’t back them up and side with pushy parents. So, be nosy and get him a new class. She’s going to target him for the rest of the school year. You’d better protect him, or she will traumatize him.

Not the jerk.” 


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“Not the jerk. This teacher is bullying your kid for being afraid of her loudness, and you should speak to an administrator. She doubled down when questioned, which is her baseline judgment in the classroom, which is not okay. I’m a loud person myself, and I’d be heartbroken if I scared a kid.” 

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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