My daughter’s teacher stuck her behind a potted plant at her graduation: ‘Crappy experience’

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Where there’s a primary school concert, there’s an audience full of beaming, excited adults with phones at the ready.

And there’s most likely some politics in that hall, too.

Who got the lead role?  Is that kid the narrator because she’s the best reader? Who’s Snow White, and who got cast as one of the seven dwarves?  

As a parent, you can’t help but notice these small things. But one mom this week has shared how upsetting her seven-year-old daughter’s recent concert was – not because of casting, but because she was completely obscured on stage.

“Crappy graduation experience”

Writing in a parenting forum, the mom began: “My daughter Xara just turned seven last month, but she is terrified at the mention of school because of her crappy graduation experience and I want to know how to help her.

7-year-old Xara was completely hidden during her school concert.
7-year-old Xara was completely hidden during her school concert.
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“With Xara’s school, I feel this immense pressure to get everything right. [At the mall] Xara picked out a pretty long black dress with little sparkles, which she wanted to wear with her black combat boots and a headband.

“[On the day] the teacher gave a speech to the entire class celebrating their efforts. She then went up to every girl student she had individually, one by one, in front of their parents, and called them beautiful and complimented them.

“Except for Xara. She was waiting to be the last one to be talked to, as she idolizes her teacher.

Xara's mom says this teacher ignores her daughter, even though Xara idolizes her.
Xara’s mom says this teacher ignores her daughter, even though Xara idolizes her.
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“We moved on to the performance in the cafeteria. The teacher gave orders to everyone, and told my daughter she was not to move from behind the potted plant (this was not brought to her attention beforehand during rehearsal).

“I was the ONLY parent there who couldn’t get a decent picture/video of my kid singing and dancing the end-of-the-year songs. On top of it, the teacher placed a kid two heads taller than Xara in front of the potted plant.

“I asked the teacher if there was any way we could move the potted plant so I can see Xara, she said no because “there are 60 kids.” It was no use regardless, because Xara didn’t even finish the performance, came to me, started crying, and asked if we could leave.

“We left, I got her some ice cream, I talked to her about unfair experiences with my teachers when I was a kid, we celebrated summer, and all was forgotten. The only issue is that now if Xara hears the mention of school she’s petrified. I’m worried I didn’t do more, but I know teachers are usually working really hard and I felt bad at the time to press more.

Xara's mom claims Xara was forced to stand behind a potted plant during the production.
Xara’s mom claims Xara was forced to stand behind a potted plant during the production.
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“Xara had never had an issue with this teacher before this. The teacher would constantly write to me that Xara is failing to participate in group activities and raising her hand to answer questions but has amazing grades and no other issues.”

“Your child is being bullied”

Parents in the comments were absolutely on the poster’s side, relating how it would feel as a mom in the same situation.

“To me, this sounds like targeted harassment, which teachers are absolutely capable of in public schools and private. I have experience with both,” one said.

“Besides doing a complaint against the teacher, I personally would change to another school. Sounds like your child is being bullied by the teacher,” encouraged another.

This mom observed: “Singling out your daughter and not recognizing her in this public capacity was highly inappropriate, and the teacher needs to be reprimanded. I would put a complaint into formal writing asap, and include your pictures of your daughter behind the plant. If the harassment continues, then it’s retaliation, which can be career-ending.”

She added: “Public humiliation is absolutely never an acceptable way to teach children in any context. You need to stand up for your child.”

And this mom was concerned about getting the teacher again at some point, writing, “What a horrible teacher. The good news is she will have a new teacher for second grade. Once you find out which teacher she’s assigned to, ask the other parents if the teacher is nice.

“If not be adamant that she be assigned to another class.”

Members of the parenting forum call this teacher's actions "targeted harassment."
Members of the parenting forum call this teacher’s actions “targeted harassment.”
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This woman shared her own experience in a similar situation as a child: “I had to play Dopey in the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the third grade because my teacher hated my parents and didn’t want me to have any speaking parts. But then got mad if I didn’t sing. Teachers are just mean sometimes.”

Finally, one parent has some constructive advice to move forward.

“You need to compose a very well-written, firm but kind email to the director of the school explaining the situation and the impact on your daughter of her experience last year.

“You need to go on to make it clear that you’re really wanting to ensure a different experience next year and would like to know who they recommend placing your daughter with for 2nd grade in order to avoid having this happen again.

“The spirit of this email should be ‘we’re a team, what are we going to do to help this kid?’”

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