He and his wife were shocked that their son cursed at a teacher shortly after starting preschool. The school’s making him out to be the bad guy, but he’s not at fault!
OP (Original Poster) and his wife are in their late 30s and are parents to a boy who just turned 3. He is an only child and will likely remain as one.
As parents, OP and his wife are undoubtedly biased, and they are aware of that. However, they try to be as objective as possible because it won’t do their son or the outside world any good if they continue to spoil, shelter, and overly favor him.
He’s Officially a Student
Two months before posting this story, OP’s son started private preschool, which he attends four hours a day, four days per week.
OP said, “His terrible twos were relatively mild, and the last few months, he settled into a pleasant, friendly, funny, and for three, relatively attentive disposition.”
Shining, Shimmering, Splendid!
According to OP, the standard practice at his son’s preschool is to do an assessment a month after the kid starts there. His son’s came back “glowing.”
OP added, “Funny, pleasant, follows directions, academically advanced—all the warm and fuzzy stuff a parent would want to hear.”
The past weekend, OP noticed his son seemed a bit off. He wasn’t stubborn or “wild,” but he wasn’t his usual self.
From a Three-Year-Old’s Mouth
OP’s son was saying “no” more and was a little more agitated. Then, on Monday at preschool, he spilled his lunch, and his teacher asked him to clean it up.
To everyone’s surprise, the three-year-old said, “No, you clean it up, b****.” When the teacher asked him what he said, he repeated it.
So, the teachers told OP and his wife about what their son did and indicated that it was extremely out of character for him.
OP said, “We were very apologetic to both teachers who were female.”
Afterward, they talked to their son about using bad words, impulsiveness, and controlling one’s mood. With that, the kid returned to his usual self, and there were no incidents for the rest of the week.
Demands and Apology Letters
However, two days after the incident with the bad word, the teachers asked OP and his wife to write an apology letter addressed to them and the administration. It should express their apologies for “teaching” their son the word “b****.”
OP said, “Here’s the thing. My wife and I aren’t perfect. We swear. We say f***, s***, a**hole, and occasionally, godd*** to our dog when she’s bad.”
Not One Word
They try to limit their swearing in front of their son, but sometimes, it slips out. Even so, they never use derogatory curse words.
In the 10 years that they’ve been together, and even before that, for OP, he never said or heard his wife say “b****” or the “nuclear bomb” word, “c***.” They also never make derogatory comments toward color, ethnicity, s***** identity, gender, religion, or abilities.
Not to Be Held Accountable
OP is sure the school thinks his son heard the curse word from him or his wife, but they don’t use it at all. Also, their three-year-old only likes to watch cartoons, so he hasn’t been exposed to any content with that word.
OP noted, “I understand kids get things from all types of sources, and I want the school to understand that.”
An Apology Has Already Been Given
The day OP shared this story on Reddit, the school followed up, asking for the apology letter, but OP doesn’t feel he and his wife owe it to them.
He wrote, “We have already apologized for him saying it, but don’t feel the need to apologize for teaching it to him because we didn’t. Would I be the a**hole if I refused to do the apology letter?”
The Community’s Pieces of Advice
The community suggested OP still write the letter, but instead of apologizing for something he thinks is not his fault, he and his wife should explain their honest side.
The top commenter wrote, “Not the a**hole. Write the letter, but instead of it being an apology, explain that you don’t recall ever using that word in front of him and have no idea how or where he learned it from if that is what you really believe. Take the opportunity to point out that you have never heard him use that word at home, if true, and that he could have actually picked it up at school.”
The same person added, “Again, reiterate that you are sorry that he said it but that you will not be apologizing for doing something that you don’t believe you actually did. Also, suggest having your son apologize to the teachers, maybe with a small gift. This can go a long way and help defuse these situations.”
Skeptical About the Preschool
According to Redditors, the school is sketchy for pushing an apology letter from OP and his wife. People suggested OP find out more about what the institution is up to.
A user commented, “Not the a**hole. It doesn’t make sense to me that the school would want an apology letter. How does that solve any problem they have? I’d call the school administrator to find out more. I would also be concerned about where your child heard this word. If you never say it, where could he have learned it that you or a babysitter wouldn’t have heard?”
Another Redditor replied to the previous comment, saying, “Quite frankly, I’m a bit suspicious that the school is pressing for this. I think it’s possible this is an attempt for the school to provide cover for themselves. If they have a letter apologizing for teaching their child such language, the next time this happens with another child, they can blame OP’s family.”
A Redditor shared a funny moment where their little boy used a bad word.
A parent commented, “Not the a**hole, my two-year-old boy came out with ‘Oh my f****** god!’ the other day in a very dramatic tone. I have not used that term in his lifetime. To be honest, he pooped in the potty, turned to look at what he had created, and that was his response. It was precious.”
Should OP and his wife apologize to the school? Do you think their son saying a bad word is their fault?
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This post first appeared as His Three-Year-Old Called His Teacher the “B-Word,” So the School Demanded He Write an Apology Letter for Teaching Him a Bad Word. He Refused, Adamant He Did No Such Thing! on Quote Ambition.