She arrived from school in a panic, begging her father to not tell Mom.
When she finally shared what happened, her father couldn’t believe his ears. It would send her parents on a collision course with her school and cause a Reddit riot to erupt.
A Daughter’s Cruel School Punishment
The father posted the story in Reddit’s AITA forum, under the username u/iguessimthatdad. He shared that his daughter’s big sin at school was…reading. That’s right, his 11-year-old daughter Cleo was reading during recess when her teacher reprimanded her, took the book from her hands and told her to go play instead.
Despite Cleo’s pleas to return it, the teacher refused and even kept it as punishment.
Yet that only tells a small part of her story, and what follows only makes this story more unsettling.
A 11-Year-Old Girl’s Bullying Story
The father said that this isn’t the case of some antisocial sulker. Instead, he said that Cleo has ADHD and was bullied in the third and fourth grades, adding that though it’s under control, ‘her classmates still ice her out.’
And so, instead of toxic friends, she doesn’t socialize at school and ‘she’s okay with this.’ Instead, Cleo enjoys reading her mom’s classic books at recess, taking careful care of them.
He adds that Cleo is actually very social, involved in many sports and plays with friends outside of school. What’s more, he said that all of this was already shared with the teachers at school.
Using it as motivation, this papa bear went about making things right for his little bookworm.
How a Father Defended His Daughter
After speaking with his wife, Cleo’s dad assured her that ‘she did zero wrong’ and was in no trouble. With that, he beelined to the school to confront the teacher.
However, the teacher defended taking away a child’s book during their break. The father told her ‘to save it and she has no right’ to limit what his daughter does with her free time.
The father then went to the principal, who assured him that Cleo can read during recess without her book being confiscated. Consider this cub rescue a success. But to his surprise, not everyone agreed.
He got a major shock when he shared what happened with his cousin, also a teacher. She said that this was a hot topic in school lounges, and he’d been marked as ‘one of those guys.’ She added that teachers aren’t paid enough, and he should have accepted it.
Most Redditors, however, sided with him.
“You did the right thing. The teacher was strangely out of line and lacking in compassion,” wrote one.
“You gave your daughter the message that it is okay to be herself. To spend her ‘me-time’ the way SHE wants to. It is a powerful message and who cares what the teacher’s lounge thinks of that,” wrote another.
How a Father Proves That Everyone Has a Story
The father closed by saying that Cleo was going to be switching schools the next year. Sounds like that might be best way for everyone to turn a new page.
To be fair, I’m sure this teacher isn’t some Cruella de Vil who enjoys crushing kids during recess. It seems that her intent was for Cleo to socialize with others, it was just done in very poor form.
Sadly, she and the school forgot that kids aren’t cookie-cut. They forgot that classrooms and communities have changed from conformity and control to diversity and collaboration.
If the teacher dared to read this book past its cover, she’d see a special kid with her unique lens to the world. If she did, who knows how this story would have ended?
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