For some misguided parents, cheating on behalf of their children and neglecting to help them learn is easier than admitting they might need special help in class.
Reddit user FourLeaf11 recently went viral with the story of one parent (who he referred to as Mrs. PhD) who got caught cheating on behalf of her child, only to end up with egg on her face after her actions were revealed.
The first thing FourLeaf11 had to do was intro the characters in the tale:
"Teacher - 1st grade elementary teacher at a private school with 20+ years experience, compliance expert."
"SN Student - Nice but slow student. Your typical 'needs extra help' special needs first grader."
"Mrs. PhD - Mother of SN Student. Has a doctorate in education but never actually taught anywhere. Married to a husband who also has a PhD, and as a result, should be incapable of creating an offspring with an IQ below 150."
Mrs. PhD's child was having trouble in class, but she was far from willing to admit it.
"SN Student was promoted to first grade largely on the grounds that a student cannot be held back in kindergarten without the parents' consent and the Teacher was warned that SN Student would need some extra help from her and the aid."
"After the first 4-6 weeks of school, SN Student was numerous signs of a learning disability when it came to reading and math, and even with extra in-class help, their grades were very poor."
"The teacher passed this along to Mrs. PhD, requesting a meeting to discuss her son's performance, requesting that she allow SN Student to be placed in special education classes, and requesting that she permit the state to test her child for learning disabilities (which up until 2nd grade, also requires the consent of the parents)."
The mother ended up demanding the teacher use standardized tests, despite the fact they'd been taken advantage of by cheating parents in the past.
"As is all too often the case, Mrs. PhD demanded the principal be in attendance at the meeting, and spent the first half of the meeting berating both the Teacher and the principal as 'My child has no issue. He's the genius offspring of two geniuses and is the opposite of someone who needs special ed. If you didn't suck at your jobs, we wouldn't be having this conversation'."
"The second half of the meeting consisted of Mrs. PhD attack the Teacher over her choice to design and use her own tests, and instead demanded that the Teacher use the standard tests provided with the textbooks, as [insert statistical PhD BS] was causing her son to perform worse on the custom tests."
"The Teacher tried arguing back stating that the tests were virtually identical, other students were not having an issue with the tests, and that custom tests needed to be used after numerous parents were caught handing their younger children copies of the standard tests that their older siblings took (yes, this even occurred in 1st grade)."
"Also as is all too often the case, the principal simply caved and instructed the Teacher to use the standard tests going forward."
Big surprise here: the mother ended up cheating just like those before her.
"For the first month after then standard tests were used, SN Student's grades soared. SN Student had an A average across the board during the period, with perfect 100's on all reading tests, and Mrs. PhD sent quite a few smug notes to the Teacher pointing this out."
"The Teacher spoke to SN Student, said she was impressed with his performance, and asked if he was doing anything different at home to study. As 1st graders do, SN Student proudly responded that the tests were easier once he could start practicing them in advance."
"As it turns out, Mrs. PhD wanted the standard tests to be used as she could obtain the teacher's edition copy of the textbooks, and could have her son memorize answers in advance."
The teacher formulated a simple plan that would reveal Mrs. PhD's deception perfectly!
"The Compliance: The Teacher was irate, half pissed at Mrs. PhD's notes, half pissed at how Mrs. PhD was ruining her sons life by rushing him up the grades (and the principal was not pleased either)."
"While the Teacher couldn't go back to using her own questions, she was permitted to make minor changes to the standard tests. Math tests asked identical questions, but the question ordering was changed."
"Reading tests had adjustments where answers were changed without impacting the question; such as:"
The dog saw the sheep swimming in the pool. The dog also saw the bear playing soccer. The dog then saw the cat climbing a tree.
Q: Which animal was playing soccer?"
The dog saw the sheep swimming in the pool. The dog also saw the cat playing soccer. The dog then saw the bear climbing a tree."
In the end, the student was one step closer to receiving the help he deserved and his mother stopped causing problems for the people trying to give him it.
"Over the next two weeks, SN Student failed everything, including scoring 0's on both reading quizzes. The Teacher sent the results along to Mrs. PhD, along with a follow up request for state testing. Never got a response."
"TLDR: Parent demands a teacher use the standard tests provided along with the school's textbooks so her son can memorize the answers ahead of time. Teacher complies, but due to slight modifications, the student fails."
Reddit users like JennaLS couldn't believe how badly this mother was treating her child:
"Doing a huge disservice to your own child, all in the name of your own over-inflated ego. I hope that poor kid gets all the help he can without the interference of his shitty mother. The neighbor kid I grew up with had a hell of a speech impediment but his folks were waaaay to proud to allow him to see a speech therapist."
"My brother and I both had a lisp as little kids but a short time with that speech therapist and poof! No more lisp. We are now nearly thirty years on and that neighbor kid, now closing in on 40 years old, still has this speech impediment. He must often get confused as special needs, that's how serious this impediment is. Seriously, you are s***ting directly onto your own kid if you have this mentality."
weevil_season agreed 100%:
"It's such an awful thing for a parent to do. Both my kids are dyslexic and we immediately got them assessed and identified. For the next couple of years we got them extra help and were lucky they had fantastic, compassionate teachers at school. We put no pressure on them in terms of grades only expecting them to work to the best of their abilities and complete their school work."
"Years later they are now reading above level and getting great grades in school. One of them has turned into a total bookworm. If we pretended they didn't have a problem they would still be struggling. I don't know how a parent could do this to their child. Appalling."
"To strengthen everyone's point. I was diagnosed with a few learning disabilities in second grade. I was somehow smart enough to mask them or work around them until high school. With great effort I eventually passed my classes."
"It's taken me the better part of 20 years to pass those classes on a college level. Get the help as soon as you can, even if your kid doesn't 'need' it. They might need it tomorrow and not have it or the tools to get the help they need."
"That's a very important point you're making - the kids have to be able to accomplish something by themselves, live their lives by themselves as far as that's possible, and the parents have to help them be able to do that. The way the parent in this post handles it will only discourage the kid from even trying."
"Parents have no idea how much they're fucking up their kids' lives by denying them a proper diagnosis and treatment. This also applies to anti-vax moms"