Having A Field Day With This Parent

, , , , | Learning | May 2, 2018

(I work as a teaching assistant in a special education classroom. Every year, the students in each grade have a “field day,” which includes a number of games and activities held outside on the playground for most of the day. My students have theirs a week earlier than the others in their grade, to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed, and so that we can modify activities if needed. This takes place the morning of our field day, as parents are dropping their children off. I am outside setting up some of the equipment.)

Woman: *approaching me* “Oh, are the kids doing something special today?”

Me: “I’m just setting up for the special education students’ field day.”

Woman: “That’s great! My son loves field day; I’m sure he’ll have a great time today.”

Me: *thinking it’s odd that I haven’t seen her before* “Sorry, who is your son? I teach the special education kids; I’m sure I know him.”

Woman: “[Son] isn’t ‘special’! Why would you say that?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. I must have misunderstood. Today is only field day for my students, so he won’t be participating yet.”

Woman: “Then where do I sign him up?”

Me: “You don’t. His class will have theirs next week.”

Woman: “No, no, he wants to do it today. I’ll write a note.”

Me: “Ma’am, this really is only for the special education students.”

Woman: “I know. Don’t worry; it’s okay with me.”

Me: “Well, that’s fine, but it doesn’t matter. Your son will have to wait until his class’s turn.”

Woman: “Of course he won’t. He’d rather play with the special kids, anyway. He hates losing.”

Me: *getting irritated* “My kids are very intelligent and capable. And anyway, he is not a part of their field day today. I’d like to finish setting up now, if you’ll excuse me.”

Woman: “Don’t be stupid; they’re not over here. You don’t have to lie like that. I know what they’re like. They would love to have a normal child pay attention to them! If you won’t help me, I’ll talk to the principal.”

Me: *fuming at this point* “You do that.”

(To no one’s surprise, the principal told her that her child would have to wait for his class’s field day. I later found out that she pulled her kid out of school early that day and attempted to send him into the playground with my students. Luckily, the security officer made it very clear that if she did not leave on her own, he would be escorting her out.)

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