Just For Fun: Weird And Wonderful Parental Complaints

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Lynn How

Lynn is the Editor at Teacher Toolkit. With 20 years of primary teaching and SLT experience, she has been an Assistant Head, Lead Mentor for ITT and SENCO. She loves to write and also has her own SEMH and staff mental health blog: www.positiveyoungmind.com. Lynn...
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Have you ever had to deal with any strange parental complaints?

Teachers never know what is going on in the minds of a pupil’s parent; it can sometimes be particularly challenging to comprehend.

We asked teachers on Twitter ‘What are the strangest parental complaints you have ever had to deal with?’ and we were inundated with replies! We have collated a selection of some of the best (printable) answers.

Top 25 complaints

  1. A parent complained that she missed a school event as I had failed to communicate it with her. I showed her three newsletters where the event details were shared … ‘It’s on page 2, no one reads page 2,’ she claimed!
  2. A parent felt, having heard from their child, that I wore my coat too much inside the classroom.
  3. One parent demanded a report reprint because they didn’t like the photo on the front.
  4. ‘Do you realise that if that wind turbine fell over, it could kill seven children?’
  5. We had a parent lose their temper as their child’s head had been stamped on and we hadn’t let her know… Her child’s head had indeed been stamped on! With an ink stamper …
  6. A parent once complained that I was taking my year 3 class on a trip to the forest when they could very easily see pictures of the forest online.
  7. I once had a parent who moved schools because their child wasn’t given the class monkey to take home.
  8. I also had a parent who complained that children pinned down her child and put a stone in his ear. The child actually did it himself.
  9. The parent wrote in to say their child would no longer be wearing full uniform because they had lost at least three ties in their bedroom.  They were fed up with buying new ones!
  10. I’ve had several emails from this one parent this year – the best one is that I didn’t wipe her son’s face after lunch, so he went home with ketchup on it.
  11. The parent who complained about our pretend trip to Brazil being, ‘irresponsible in a pandemic!’
  12. We had a whole school focus on aliens and space. This involved a landing sight on the field, slime on the ceiling hatches and alien writing to decode. The next day a parent told me, ‘I don’t want my son learning all this alien rubbish. We have enough problems with poltergeist!’
  13. A parent complained I had sent home an inappropriate book for their child to read and that death should not be in children’s books. It was called ‘Jack and the beanstalk.’
  14. That I was giving unnecessary homework that the student couldn’t do because he was practising to be a stuntman.
  15. Some parents came to see me to complain about the nativity play. Their daughter was a camel and didn’t have any lines! I produced a list showing the children’s 1st, 2nd & 3rd part choices. 1st choice was – camel without lines!
  16. During the wettest July on record, a parent once complained that we had sent her son home wet. He didn’t have a coat or umbrella. We apparently should have escorted him home with ours …
  17. I had a mum complain I’d taught her daughter History wrong. She thought Henry VIII was called that because he had eight wives.
  18. My kid says he had fun in maths, aren’t they supposed to be learning!?
  19. Apparently, it’s not down to me as a teacher to decide if a child should be sent home ill. If the child tells me they need to go home, go home they must.
  20. I was walking home from work when a car screeched to a halt next to me. An agitated mum points to the sky and says, ‘See that bright star, you told B that it is the planet Venus’ (Yes I did). ‘Well, I told him it is his dead Nan.’
  21. A parent complained that her son was not happy with me because I wore purple eyeshadow three days in a row …
  22. After paddling up to our big toes in rock pools (in small groups with a huge staff ratio), I had nearly let her son drown. The child had never seen the sea before despite living just 7 miles away – he was beside himself with excitement.
  23. A parent complained that her child had been injured by the school fence. He ran into it trying to abscond.
  24. The school had, ‘aggressive-looking squirrels.’
  25. Had a parent drive 3 hours to a residential because she didn’t think we would put her child to bed properly. She arrived at 10:30, put her child to bed then drove 3 hours back!

Within our role as teachers, we hope that you are able to maintain your best ‘poker face’ when you receive parental complaints such as these!

It’s all part of the job …


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