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Your opinion needed


Full Member
Hello, I am dealing with a tough situation with a parent and I would like some opinions on what is going on.

I teach 6th grade and this is my first year at this school. Every year, the team leader has planned an end-of-the-year overnight field trip to a city about 2 hours away. The kids get to go to a museum, go to a theme park, and spend the night in a hotel. We have been preparing for it all year. This year, for the first time, we have had some over-the-top behavior problems that caused the principal to put a discipline system in place. She made a rule where if a child got 6 checks during homeroom/carpool/lunch time (the times when some are at their worst) before the end of the 3rd grading period, they would not go on the trip. So far, two have been pulled off due to getting 6 checks.(Mind you, this system was put in place at the middle of the 3rd quarter--which means these two kids got 6 checks in only 5 weeks.) What our principal and us didn't think about was the money issue. The parents paid a lot for the trip and some are chaperoning and paid for that as well. The parent of the most recent kid that has been kicked off (in my homeroom) is livid. We can only give him 80% of his money back because some of it has already gone towards a deposit.

Unfortunately, last week when the kid got his 6th check, the mom came in my face saying, "There will be some problems if I don't get all of my money back." She was cursing and clearly not happy. I had no other teacher around me and I felt backed into a corner. I SHOULD have referred her to the principal but I didn't. Instead, I told her she would get her money back b/c I thought that we were giving it all back to the other kid. (I had not heard that we were only giving 80%.) SO, now the dad is blaming me for saying she would get it all back. This I understand. I offered to give him the balance of the money since I did mispeak. He got offended and said that to suggest that was an insult to him. He wants the 100% from the school and he wants to see in writing where he only gets 80%. I know that we did not prepare for this well but none of us had any idea we would have to take some kids off the trip this year--it has never happened.

To me, the principal should be held somewhat accountable here because it was his idea in the first place. I do realize that all of us are responsible. The dad is being very ugly, making nasty accusations about our school and how disillusioned he has been this year. This is a parent that only comes in when he's upset about something. Other than that, we never hear from him.

I am taking this very personally and I don't know if I should ease up on myself or what. How much of this outcome is my responsibility for telling the mom she would get her money back? Is it all my fault.

Thank you so much for reading this and for your opinion.

Miss C

Senior Member
Oh, sweetie!

Let up on yourself. This is new territory for all of you, and there are bound to be growing pains. Go straight to your principal ASAP and tell him the whole story. He/she can straighten it out. It's out of your hands now. Don't beat yourself up over it. *HUGS*


Junior Member
Kid's fault?

I'm guessing that the parents haven't come to the realization that the reason this is happening is because their child was constantly misbehaving in school.. (and I'm guessing they all knew the rules). Maybe they should focus on that...


Full Member
Exactly, lg. He has made no mention of the fact that we are in this position because of his misbehaving son... but he was quick to point out how much this has "affected" his son. As if we weren't affected by dealing with his behavior all year!

Yes, everyone clearly knew the rules and I even kept them updated with how many checks the student had. Very frustrating.


I think the principal should have dealt with the issue of the child being pulled from the trip. It was the principal's rules that decided that this would happen, so the principal should deal with it.
And I agree that the parent should get 100% of their money back. Especially since there wasn't anything on the trip form that stated that if the child was behaving badly in class, that they could be banned from the trip, causing the parent to lose the deposit.

I don't understand why the parent's couldn't get their money back. I understand, some of it was used for deposits, but now you have two less students on the trip, so other costs for the trip have been decreased. Your principal should refund them 100%. It is not your fault that they are only entitled to 80%. I don't believe you are at fault at all. I think you just got put into a sticky situation.

Hope all turns out for the best.


non-refundable trip deposit

We have been taking overnight trips with our 7th graders for several years. We also have a dicipline program in place that takes students who can not behave at school out of the end of the year trip. In our situtation we have to use a charter bus. We divide the price of the bus among all that are traveling. If one student drops out that means someone has to come up with that money. We require a $50 deposit in Sept and then allow the students to make payments until our trip in May. We state in our first letter that we send home about the trip that this $50 is non-refundable. If a student has the entire trip paid for and then loses their trip, they do not receive their money back unless another student takes his/her place and pays for that spot. We have found that this helps in a couple of ways. . .
1. parents of problem students tend to hold this over the students head and we get a much better child at school
2.they will not pay the deposit so we do not have to worry about out of control kids on the trip.

You are always going to have parents that don't agree. Hopefully you have an administration that will stand up for you. We have at least one each year that losses their trip and we just pull out the permission slip that they signed with this on it. That is usally enough to stop the complaining from the parents.


Senior Member
Non-refundable deposit/earned privileges???

Yikes!!:eek: Lord knows I've had my share of those issues this year! Next year when you actually plan the trip, plan on only 80% of the students attending, this will raise the cost initially. Then send home a letter well in advance having parent & child signing a School Rules/Expectations letter, including the explanation of a non-refundable deposit. I have a phenomenal principal and his firm belief is that all field trips are EARNED PRIVILEGES!!:D If you have behavioral issues, attendance/homework issues you stay at school, and he pays for a sub teacher. The kids/parents get upset but oh well!! Seems to me some of these kids have issues because they see their parents "acting a fool!" Its not fair that the kids / good behavior have to pay more $$$$because less kids earned the trip...I also sell nachos in my crock pot on fridays for kids w/ economic hardships but deserve field trips