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Kindergarten teacher faces backlash over ‘terrible’ off-the-clock behavior: ‘Teachers are people too’

Emerald Pellot
·3-min read

A teacher is wondering if she set a bad example for her students when they caught her drinking wine and swearing while off the clock.

She went on Reddit’s r/AmITheA****** forum to find out if she had behaved inappropriately. The unexpected incident happened when the teacher was dining at the same restaurant as a couple of her students and their parents. Though she didn’t behave belligerently and wasn’t drunk, the mother overheard her using curse words and saw her drink alcohol.

“Last weekend was my 27th birthday. I went to a restaurant with a couple friends for outdoor dining,” she stated. “While we were there, two moms come in with their children and are seated behind me. I recognize them as students in my in-person class. They say hi to me and I say hi back, but then don’t interact further.”

The teacher had a couple of glasses of wine with her friends and, during dinner, enjoyed a casual conversation that included profanity. She used phrases like “the news is s***” and “it’s too d*** hot to be fall.”

“I’m not speaking loudly or anything. Just having normal conversations with my friends,” she wrote. “One of the moms then comes over to me and reminds me that my students were there and that I shouldn’t be drinking and cursing in front of them. Since I’m their teacher, it was my job to set a good example for them. I just told her I was off the clock and that if it was bothering her, she could move or stop listening to me. She got all huffy and they soon left.”

Days later, the mom went to the teacher’s school and reported her to the principal.

“She was angry and complained that I was setting a bad example for my students,” she said. “And now her daughter was using some of the same words I was using, saying that if her teacher can say it, so can she. He asked for my side of the story and I just explained exactly what happened. Given that she verified my story, he told her that I was not their teacher at the time and since I wasn’t doing anything wrong, they couldn’t control my behavior off the clock. She protested a bit, but eventually left [and] called me a terrible teacher.”

Though the principal took her side, he also suggested that she shouldn’t have drunk alcohol or used foul language that day. Reddit users weighed in.

“They can’t expect you to be the teacher 24/7. Teachers are people, too,” one user commented.

“You are allowed to have a life,” another said. “This mom needs to back the heck off.”

“Why couldn’t the parents move if it was bothering them?” someone wrote.

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