School Drama

A Mom Is In Trouble With The Teacher For Buying Her Kid Personalized School Supplies

Is she helping out her daughter or making the teacher’s life harder than it already is?

A little girl surrounded by school supplies. A mom took to Reddit this week to ask if she was wrong ...
Hispanolistic/E+/Getty Images

School supply shopping has become another stressful task on every parents’ never-ending to-do list. While most parents follow the list, adhere to their kids’ teacher’s wishes, and move on with the rest of the school year (even if they’re annoyed), one parent took a different approach.

In a now-viral Reddit thread from the platform’s popular “Am I The A**hole?” forum, a parent looked for feedback from the AITA community about an out-of-the-box parenting decision she made regarding her kids’ school supplies.

The original poster (OP) started their story by explaining that their 9-year-old daughter, “Mia,” recently started at a new school. When the OP received the school supplies list for the year, they noticed that they were being required to purchase extra supplies. The OP wrote that they “didn’t necessarily agree” with buying any of the extra supplies, but it “wasn’t a hill they were willing to die on” so they bought everything on the list.

However, there is one detail about these extra supplies that is being argued about in the thread — the parent personalized all the supplies with the child’s name so they couldn’t be redistributed in class.

The parent went on to explain that her daughter is pretty particular about her supplies, and she worried that her daughter would get stuck with lackluster school supplies if they were sorted out among her classmates.

“Mia is very particular on what type of stationery she likes,” the OP wrote, “I’ve heard horror stories of kids stuff being redistrubuted and them ending up with crappy supplies so I sat down with Mia and we got her personalized binders and notebooks and pencils with her name on Etsy. It’s all part of the item so can’t be removed and given to another kid (like I said, as requested, I bought extra binders, etc.).”

Turns out this tactic did not fly with Mia’s teacher. When Mia arrived home, the OP received a “passive-aggressive” note from her teacher regarding the personalized school supplies. The teacher tried to gather all the school supplies to redistribute to the kids and requested that Mia’s parent bring in generic supplies instead. The OP is refusing. “The teacher now requested that I stop by to have a chat regarding Mia’s supplies,” they wrote.

Parents are weighing in on if the OP is actually an a**hole for personalizing her daughter’s supplies and then refusing to comply with her teacher’s requests, and the reviews tend to side with the OP. This seems to be mostly due to the confusion over the teacher’s overall plan. Is she having all the kids compile their supplies and then redistributing or just the “extras” asked for on the supply list?

“[Not the a**hole]. I hated this as a kid. My parents would buy Crayola and I would some how get the dollar tree brand. Enough parents complained. Like I’m sorry Susan’s parents bought the dollar tree brand but my parents got me this and that’s what I want to use,” u/jadepumpkin1984 wrote, receiving the top comment of over 27,000 upvotes.

One Redditor replied, “Could you explain to me how can a kid can end up with a cheaper brand of supplies?! Don’t schools use all the items at the same time?!”

Another echoed, “NTA why spend all the money on* buying good supplies for ur children and even getting extra binders for them if they're gonna end up w crappy ones due to exchanging... what exactly is their teacher trying to impart to them [I’m] confused... is this something that happens in every school?”

Then, a teacher weighed in on the issue and also sided with the parent, suggesting that a child should not be punished because of their privilege. She also lays blame on the school district if the communal supplies are, in fact, for kids who cannot afford supplies.

“Teacher here. NTA. [Not the a**hole]. I understand completely that your child wants to pick out her things for her to use. I understand students who MUST have things a certain way to learn better. Would I take those items away just because Suzy over there doesn’t have anything? I understand the parents who can’t afford but there are systems in place to get supplies ... Have a meeting but include the principal. Ask to see research that supports taking away supplies from a student and redistribute. Ask why the school isn’t providing supplies for those students in need. There is a budget for that,” they wrote.

It seems that most replies are siding with the parent on this one. Interesting food for thought.