You know that old saying, "blood is thicker than water"?
For those who believe that sentiment, where do we draw the line? When someone we love does something wrong, do we ignore it, or do we do something about it?
These are questions a teenage Redditor has been grappling with since his mother hit one of his classmates with her car and then drove away.
The OP (Original Poster) "throwra_blurpleduck" reached out to the "Relationship Advice" subReddit, asking if he should report his mother to the police or try to ignore what happened.
The OP asked the thread:
"Do I (14[male]) call the police on my mum's hit and run?"
The OP explained that the accident happened on the way to school.
"Mum was driving me to school this week. She was taking a turn and obviously wasn't looking because she took the turn wide and hit a kid from school who was riding to the bike racks."
"He was in the other lane that goes the other way. Our car went over him and I heard him yell out. I don't like 'know' him but he's in a different year than me."
The OP was surprised at his mother's reaction.
"After that happened mum just kept driving. I told her we need to call the police or ambulance or something."
"Mum just kept saying that he swerved and hit her and that we don't call the police if we did nothing wrong. She told me to keep quiet and knows i'll do the right thing."
Since the accident, the OP has been emotionally divided.
"I saw a photo on Insta of him in the hospital and he's all bruised and looks rough as guts."
"I've just been feeling really bad and it's like I can't eat and feel like throwing up. It's like mum did something really wrong and it feels really bad to not say anything. I wasn't even allowed to tell dad about it (but him and mum are divorced and I'm not allowed to tell him lots of things...)."
"If I tell someone, mum will probably get arrested and then it'll be my fault."
"I don't know and want to stop feeling so bad, do I tell on my mum or not?"
Fellow Redditors reached out to the teen with advice, ranging from calling the police to getting help.
Some simply wrote in to confirm that the OP should reach out to the police and does not need to carry this burden alone.
"I'm on team 'tell your dad'."
"This is too big for a 14 year old to deal with, and you need support around this that your mom is incapable of providing."
"Your dad needs to know all of this, including how you feel and your mom is wrong to tell you not to seek his help." - Toincossross
"is your dad someone you trust? will telling him put you in an unsafe environment at all? if that's the case do you have another adult in your family etc you can trust /talk to? like an aunt or an advisor at school?"
"find an adult you trust op, not necessarily your dad" - Rocketfemme
"He's still a kid, and should be able to go to his parents and guardians for help. He doesn't have to be the one to call the police. Also, I think it's a red flag that his mom asks him to keep secrets from his dad." - InSearchOfAStory
Others were more concerned about the secrets OP is required to keep by his mother, and whether or not he will be safe living with her going forward.
"Is anyone else concerned about the 'I'm not allowed to tell my dad lots of things' part of OP's post? It makes me wonder if there are other things the mom does that we don't know about that may make her unfit to be a parent since she doesn't want the other parent knowing about them."
"It sounds like OP still sees his father and doesn't have a bad relationship (aside from being required by his mother to hide things from him), so I think we can assume he could stay with him if the mom found out he reported her."
"I would advise to make an anonymous tip to the police. It sounds like the hit and run happened right next to the school since the kid who was hit was riding up to the bike racks."
"Anyone could have seen it out a window from inside the school even if they weren't outside. Heck, the kid she hit could have recognized OP in the car and reported that it was whoever drives OP to school that hit him. The possibilities are endless."
"Whatever happens, don't blame yourself, OP. Your mom could have prevented anything that happens after this by listening to you that day and pulling over to check on the CHILD she hit to see if he was okay and calling for help. Even if it had happened like she said and he was the one who hit her, it would have still been the right thing to do." - Platypus_Over
"Also, you need to talk to a trusted adult about the other things you are not allowed to tell your dad. That's very concerning that your mom is putting you in that position, and I think it would be helpful to get an adult's perspective on those things too." - ceylon_butterfly
"Just want to include that it is never ok for one parent to ask a child to keep secrets from the other. This is extremely wrong and OP, I am so sorry you have been put in this situation."
"If you are ever asked to 'not tell dad' something, then it is all the more reason for you to talk to him, if you feel he is someone safe to go to. If you don't feel like you dad would be of help either then reach out to teachers, counselors at your school, or any adult who has your back."
"And yes, this scenario needs to be told to an adult asap." - Crazydragonsex
It's going to be difficult for anyone to decide what to do when they see someone they love make a terrible mistake, but it's got to be especially hard for a child.
Hopefully after seeing these responses, the teen will have a better sense of what they should do next.