A Redditor who has since deleted their account is a mother who works as a nurse.
The reality of the pandemic hit close to home when her eight-year-old son—who has autism—started experiencing breathing complications and was taken to the ER.
When he was pulled from school for obvious reasons, she had no idea she would be dealing with additional stress.
When she was pushed to her limits and snapped, she visited the "Am I the A**hole" (AITA) subReddit and asked:
"AITA for calling my son's teacher a nosy b*tch?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"I know the title sounds bad but hear me out."
"I am a nurse, and because of my crazy schedule and my husband's we have a babysitter that comes to your house everyday. This allows us to keep our children home if they have any symptoms of illness at all."
"So, that is exactly what I do. If any of my kids so much as had the sniffles we always kept them home."
"So by early March of 2020 my oldest have been off sick about four or five times so far. Admittedly, two or three of those times we're just days that he had sniffles( and a fever) in the morning and was fine by the end of the day but I always like to err on the side of caution."
"By the second time my kid was off of school I had his teacher calling me asking if my kid was really sick. It was extremely annoying each time and I came to find out that she was also questioning my son about it every time he came back to school."
"So, it's the first week of March and youngest son gets a fever and other respiratory symptoms and because of [the virus] I decided to take both of my boys out of school just to be safe."
"My youngest son got over it quickly without any complications but by the end of the week my oldest was really struggling to breathe."
"When I finally made the decision to going to the ER he was one of the first people in our area that tested positive for [the virus]. The next day which was Friday I got a call from his teacher and again she starts questioning if my son is actually sick."
"When I told you we were currently in the hospital because he had [the virus] she told me that I was lying and I was just too lazy to get my kids out to school."
"So, I snapped, hung up, and I sent her a photo of my hospitalized son with the caption 'now can you stop being such a noisy b*tch.' She never called me again, she didn't apologize or even respond when I emailed her about questions my son had about his distance learning."
"Skip forward to today and I just found out that there is a note on my son's permanent record that I was threatening towards his teacher. So, am I the a**hole?"
Anonymous strangers on the internet weighed in by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
Redditors sided with the OP as NTA.
"You should 100% report this to the school, you should've done that a long time ago. NTA" – NateHatred
"And get that note removed from his file. Do whatever you have to to get rid of it, including threatening to sue for defamation." – squirrelfoot
However, one Redditor cautioned against jumping to conclusions due to the possibility of another concern.
"I just want to say That one of the signs of Abuse is a student being out sick a lot and for children who are special needs there is a higher rate of abuse."
"This doesn't excuse the teacher and how she handled it. I would just put that out there. Teachers are mandatory reports and this is one of the signs they are Taught to look for. NTA." – Marlinspikehall32
"It's something to be aware of for sure. The last thing you want to be doing to investigate it or try and help if you suspect abuse though is interrogate the parent about it like this teacher was trying to do."
"Teachers are mandated reporters, not investigators and I would get in deep sh*t in my country if I was being this nosy about it even with robust suspicion and good intentions."
"Because as an untrained person I might do dumb shit like asking if a kid was really sick which sounds accusatory rather than supportive, or basically accuse the parents of wrongdoing and expect them to, what, own up to it and change it?" – breadcreature
A teacher shared the proper protocols they must follow with alleged cases of abuse.
"That is fair, and makes sense. I'm a teacher, and for us, is a definite no. I listen if they tell me, and then I report. If I suspect it, I have to just report, I can't ask."
"Edit: to be clear, we do not immediately report for someone who is just absent a lot. We try to figure why the student is absent, and if we can offer support. But if I suspect something because I see something, then I am obviously required to immediately report it." – CarrotJerry45
"NTA. As a teacher I can guaran-damn-tee you did the right thing. That teacher is stupid to question a parent keeping a sick child home, especially now!"
"We have a zero fever policy. If a child has a fever he stays home-period and if he has siblings in our school they stay home too. Until the child has been fever free without meds for 48 hours."
"Sorry that dumbnut put you through that. NTA." – Sharkqween
And a former student shared the negative impact they experienced from an unprofessional teacher.
"I spent 8 years at one school when I was younger. 2nd year I started getting sick 3-5 days a week and spent a good part of that year either at home or at the doctor's office getting unsuccessfully diagnosed and treated."
"My teacher was convinced I was faking and proceeded to tell my classmates that. As a result of her abhorrent unprofessionalism, I was bullied every day that I was healthy enough to go back to school."
"For the rest of those 8 years, I had to suffer the social fallout from that, stress, my grades going downhill."
"Please protect your children and let the school know about the teacher's behaviour about your kids' health. NTA." – michacu
The OP updated the post to include more details about her son's teacher.
"Edit to add. This is not the only problem that we have had with this teacher all of which have been detailed in a comment below. She has crossed the line of professionalism so many times the principal and the school board has given her warning to stop."
"My son has autism and was only off 9 days in the six months that he was in school which also includes days that he was off for doctor's appointments."
"I have dealt with this school for years and never had problems with any of the teachers. And at the beginning of the year every year the school sends out a note asking parents to please keep children who have any symptoms of illnesses home."
"Also my son is 8 and October to March is cold and flu season in Canada."
Another educator weighed in and also related to the OP.
"Special ed teacher here. This teacher's behavior is so far from okay. She's the kind of person who gives us all a bad name."
"My bro has autism, too, and we've dealt with many teachers who don't get it. I can't guarantee my Mama Bear mother has always been civil with them. If she hasn't, I don't blame her." – HobbitInHufflepuff
"Sounds like she's convinced that autism isn't real and is trying to 'fix' it. Honestly anyone who actively tries alienating a child from their parents shouldn't be allowed to be around children." – backburnedbackburner
Overall, Redditors declared NTA and said it was unacceptable for the teacher to be interrogating the OP while her son was in the hospital.
They also urged the OP to have the note of complaint removed from her son's record and to take action by contacting the local news to share her story.