The Top 10 Reasons My Kid’s School Is Calling.

You know how this goes… Kids head off to school, house is finally quiet, it’s time to get to work, you go about your day. Not too long after your phone rings. It’s the school again!

angry woman upset, about to have nervous breakdown

Every parent knows that when the school calls it’s no laughing matter. As parents of a large family, we field our fair share of school phone calls. As parents of children with special needs, we’ve come to dread seeing the number appear on the caller ID. We worry that our child may need an adjustment to her IEP. We fear the nurse has had to use our son’s Epi-Pen. We shutter to think the counselor may be calling to discuss our child’s latest standardized test scores or failing grades. Here are 10 times we weren’t prepared for what the school was about to say.

10. “Hello Mrs. Berry, this is Mrs. Teacher. I need to talk to you about your son. He refuses to use anyone’s name and instead refers to them as chicken wing.”

9. “Hello Mrs. Berry, this is Mrs. Teacher again. Your son thinks he’s an actual chicken and we can’t get him to stop pecking the desk.”

8. “Hello Mrs. Berry, this is Ms. Principal. I have your daughter in my office. She stomped on another little girl’s foot and now she refuses to apologize because she says the little girl is her arch nemesis.”

7. “Hello Mrs. Berry, this is Miss Teacher. You may have noticed it’s 30 degrees outside. We encourage our parents to help their children dress appropriately for the weather. We have a concern about your son wearing shorts and flip-flops to school.”

…5 minutes later…

“Hello Mrs. Berry, this is Mr. Bus Driver. I just found a coat, scarf, gloves, hat, sweat pants, and a pair of snow boots left in your son’s assigned seat.”

6.” Mrs. Berry, this is Mrs. Administrative Assistant. I have your daughter in the office because she came to school with 2 left shoes.”

5. “Hello Mrs. Berry, this is Mr. Teacher. I asked all the first graders to bring a water bottle to school but your son brought a baby bottle. He’s been sipping on it all day and when I asked him what he was doing he shrugged and said I’m a baby, duh.”

4. Um, Mrs. Berry, this is Mrs. Teacher again. You may have noticed that it’s 90 degrees outside. Your son packed a leather Harley Davidson jacket in his bag. He’s been wearing it since lunch. He’s sweating profusely and his face is turning red but he refuses to take it off.

3. “Hello Mrs. Berry, this is Miss Teacher. Your son told the 1st grade class that his Mommy puts the dollar under his pillow because the tooth fairy is dead.”

2. “Hello Mrs. Berry, this is Mrs. Teacher. Your son has been hanging upside down all day. When I asked him to sit at his desk he put a finger to his mouth and said, shhh I’m sleeping. I’m a bat. I can’t work now I’m nocturnal.

1. “Hello Mrs. Berry this is Mrs. Principal. I have your daughter in the office, Kindergarten doesn’t start till tomorrow.”

Question: Have you looked at your ringing phone only to feel dread as you realize it’s the school calling? Share your experience with us in the comment section below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Ellen Sanchez

    My husband and son (with ARND, ID) laughed and laughed when I read the aloud 10 reasons teachers call….. so familiar. Our David wore shorts all winter for several years, no jacket…. It’s all about which battle you choose. David called students “Dijon Mustard” one year, got calls about that…..I was proud that he wasn’t using inappropriate words! Once he threatened to chop off a student’s dog’s head…. not appropriate, but again he used no foul language, didn’t touch the child, didn’t threaten the child directly, he didn’t even know if the child owned a dog. I was a bit proud of David, but the principal didn’t see my point of view at all. Comes down to laugh or cry, choose your battles…. despite calls from the school!

    • Christy

      It’s amazing how proud we can be of behavior that others see as totally deviant. I’ve had that experience too. The day my son was chasing people with a thumb tack, they were completely freaked out. I knew he wasn’t going to hurt anyone… to him, it was all about the secondary gain of attention. He was laughing his head off at the fact that everyone was chasing him around. But they thought he was being totally dangerous. No one really understands. Well, except you guys!!

      • Kristin Berry

        True story! we are so glad we have this type of support system!

    • Kristin Berry

      Absolutely! I sort of felt the same way about the “chicken wing” comment. I felt like it was an improvement…

      • Monica Hall

        I wish all my kids did was call someone a chicken wing! 🙁

        • Oh he’s called much worse. We’re just keeping PG here. 🙂 🙂

  • Murray Coulter

    I laughed. I feel your pain.

    • One of those nervous… ‘Been there, done that” laughs right? 🙂 😉

  • Christy

    “Your son ran around the classroom chasing everyone with a thumbtack.” “Your son climbed under the table and started crawling around.” “Your son has been in a tree for the last two hours and is refusing to come down.” “Your son punched a kid on the playground because that kid was picking on someone else.” “Your son scratched his IA when he didn’t get more screen time.” “Your son told his teacher ‘F you,’ only he didn’t say ‘F.'” “Your son punched his teacher in the stomach.” “Your son ran around the school all day. We have a hands-off policy at this school, so we just assigned an IA to follow him.” Shall I go on? Thankfully, most of that was within the first year. But not all of it. He’s made a lot of strides, but school is still the final frontier of social success for our amazing boy. Is it any surprise that, after much prayer and research, we’ve decided to home school him this year? While we will trade one set of stressors for a new set, I’m really looking forward to not getting calls from the school this year. I’m also looking forward to having some very important one-on-one bonding time with my boy (now adopted) while he’s still young enough for it to really make a big difference (we hope). No words can describe the fatigue that accompanies seeing the school’s name pop up on the caller ID. That said, he once had a teacher who occasionally called to tell me when he had a particularly great day. The first time that happened, I burst into tears. This whole foster-parenting thing is no joke. And I would do it all over again 100 times.

    • Kristin Berry

      I completely feel your story! We homeschooled our youngest last year. We all just needed a little break from that particular stress. This year he has a fantastic teacher and a much better attitude. So far it’s just been the phone calls that make us chuckle. Fingers crossed!

    • Allisonm

      Been there and done that, including the homeschooling and at-home bonding time. No regrets!

  • Brandi T.

    Back when my guy was second grader I received a call from school that said “Mrs. T, we have your son in the office (chuckle chuckle). He’s here because he says he is interested in an early dismissal today.” Unfortunately, things went down hill and the calls got much more serious. Soon after that the first thing the secretaries would say when they call is either “It’s not an emergency…” , “We need you to come to school ….” , or ” Your son has fled the building and is heading…”. Thankfully, he is now in an alternative school with staff that understands him and the calls are much less frequent!

    • Oh my goodness, Brandi…. I kinda sorta laughed at this comment even though I know it has probably not been as funny when you’re dealing with it. Gotta give him props for the creativity though right?

  • Allisonm

    “Your son is injured and is being expelled from the emotional/behavioral disability summer school because he burped in another child’s face while in line.”

    Five minutes after I’d applied hair color I got the first of many “your son is flipping his classroom” calls. I had to go to his school dripping Loreal 5G to talk him down and bring him home.

    I stepped in a pothole and fell flat on my face while racing in from the parking lot for one of the many “the police and/or fire department are here” calls. I always love “your son has eloped from the building or is otherwise missing.”

    I got the call from the cafeteria director wanting to know why I wouldn’t give my son a lunch or pay for school lunches. My son dropped his lunch in the trash on the way into school each day because he had charmed the lunch lady into letting him choose anything he wanted instead of getting the Velveeta on wonder bread the school normally gave free to kids who forgot their lunches. A Major-League charmer is my son.

    The “your son keeps cutting up his clothing with the scissors” and the “I moved your son’s desk up against the front of my desk and he won’t stop touching my things” calls made me wonder about the teacher’s IQ.

    The “your son can’t learn because he isn’t doing his 2nd grade math homework” call made me shake my head. My son couldn’t learn because he was dissociated nearly all the time, slept only two out of every 24 hours, and raged whenever awake. Math homework was the least of my worries. I was recovering from surgery to repair a son-inflicted injury.

    “Your son is being suspended because he pantsed another kid” and “your son is being suspended for broomstick/pike fighting” are topped by the call saying the same son had plagarized his entry into the poetry contest from a textbook.

    If only this were a comprehensive list. Argh!

    • Oh goodness…So sorry this is your road. We’ve been there in many regards. Hang in there.

  • ddicorcia

    After reading many of the comments, my heart breaks. Instead of worrying about building walls, keeping people out and giving out tax breaks to the 3%, why doesn’t the candidates address this crisis in America. Public schools are at max capacity and are under budget. Unfortunately they no longer have the resources to help special needs kids. Autism and other developmental disabilities seem to be on the rise. Schools don’t know how to handle the educational needs thus parents get called. Parents don’t know where to go to. I really don’t think homeschooling is the answer. All parents of all students need to bond together and vote for education. Schools need to be built/designed with special needs in mind. Educators need to be hired and communities need to be taught to embrace diversity. This is a real crisis in America and not one presidential candidate has addressed it. We need funding, schools and education. It is every child’s given right in the US to an education. Please keep this in mind when voting in November.

  • Glenda Schreiber

    Uggh soo dread the school’s number popping up! Would so like to bury my head back into that “I’m the anonymous parent of a so called “normal” child”. But alas it’s not to be, we have been foster parents for 10 years and taken in 65 (appx) children and adopted 3 and working on adopting another. And they have all been blessings. But have definitely learned a lot along the way.
    The first week of Kindergarten for one of my daughters brought me to tears. The Principal called 7 times. I’m like, she’s a Kindergartner, how bad can it be?? But after some discussion, and a really motivated and devoted teacher, we turned it around and had an awesome first year. Can’t say that about the next two years, but now I know it can be done, and I lay many of the current challenges at the feet of those in charge. They are not nearly as devoted or as patient as I think Grade school educators are called to be. Humorously during one particularly stressful few weeks with many calls, I received a call at work. I tremulously answered the phone with a hesitant, yes? The principal opens with, don’t worry Mrs. S. I’m calling because, “problem daughter” has received an Wall of Achievement award for outstanding behavior for generously giving up her recess to help another child catch up on some work they were behind in. You could have knocked me over with a feather, it was such a relief. A couple days later, same child, in the Principals office, a few weeks later, in school suspension. We are firmly seated on the roller coaster and not going anywhere anytime soon. 🙂 I’m so relieved to read that we are not alone in these struggles and in our belief that these children deserve love and families. Thanks