My worst parent - Gospel according to the Meyers

21st January 2011 at 00:00

The Meyers were ardent born-again Christians, believing the world is in moral decline. They were no strangers to the school, having had cause to complain about many of the teachers. The history teacher was a particular target, for supporting "that man", Darwin. At worst, this teacher was a closet Satanist, using his position to corrupt the minds of his young charges. The Meyers, however, were parents of the highest moral calibre. I was, by implication, the other end of the scale.

One day, Mrs Meyer came in to accuse me of destroying the family holiday, causing her daughter to have chest pains and putting her off coming back to school altogether. All this because I had made a remark on her report concerning the amount of time she had taken off school - exactly half a term. She regularly took Tuesday off. Tuesday was her PE day. She was a large girl and I could well understand her reasons for not wanting to take part in games or swimming, but I didn't think that missing the whole day was justified. I also expected her parents to show concern over the fact that their daughter could not make friends.

I was wrong. Their daughter, they vehemently decreed, did not make friends with her classmates because they were not of the same high standard of character. They thought only of clothes, music and the opposite sex, while their daughter was a good Christian. At the age of 14 she still played with Barbie dolls and read Anne of Green Gables. As for missing PE, I was informed that they prayed about the situation every Monday night. God's answer up until then was obviously to take the whole day off school. The irony is the girl hasn't missed a day since. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

The writer is a teacher in east London. Send your worst parent stories to features@tes.co.uk.

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