Mom Wants to Cancel Daughter's Band Trip — That the Teen Saved for — After She's Caught Bullying a Peer

The teen's reaction to getting caught left her parents with more questions than answers

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of teen girl in hallway with head in her hands


Stock image of teen girl in hallway with head in her hands
  • The original poster (OP) agreed that her 15-year-old daughter could go on a trip to Orlando with her school band if she saved up half the price of going

  • OP's daughter saved the money and was about to get signed up when the school shared concerns over her bullying another teen

  • OP is wondering whether it would be the wrong thing to do to make their daughter sit out the trip after her hard work to earn it

The concerned parent of a 15-year-old is trying to figure out the best way to handle a difficult situation.

The original poster (OP) explained on Reddit's AmITheA------ that their daughter Ella has been saving up for her school band's field trip to Orlando since last year.

"Since Ella is growing up, my husband and I decided that if she wanted to go, she would have to pay half of the cost. Ella agreed, and she started spending weekends or teacher workdays on holidays babysitting her siblings (5M, 9F) for $22 an hour," OP continued.

"Either my husband or I would stay home and make sure everything was alright, and if there were times that both of us had to be out of the house, we’d make sure to ask our neighbors to keep an eye out and pay Ella $25 an hour. We were never gone for more than 2 hours."

Babysitting, cleaning, money Ella had already saved, and some donated by family members brought her close to her goal amount, which her proud parents applauded her for.

The couple was all set to sign their daughter up for the trip when they learned some disturbing news.

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<p>Getty</p> Stock image of high school marching band


Stock image of high school marching band

Related: Mom Reveals She Has Saving Accounts for Her Biological Kids, But Not Her Bonus Daughter

"Earlier this week, I was informed that Ella had been mistreating a girl in her grade for having a mental illness — writing awful notes and putting them in the girls bag, spreading disgusting and derogatory rumors, posting things about her online. It’s a whole mess and when I was called in, I could barely even listen the moment after I was told my daughter was bullying someone," OP revealed.

OP admitted they were baffled to hear this and felt they had "raised her right, and told her to treat everyone with respect and kindness."

However, when confronted about the situation, Ella tried to justify her actions by saying that "someone with an illness shouldn’t be allowed to get a higher test score than her."

OP wasn't surprised to learn Ella was disciplined with a short suspension but was still horrified by her child's behavior.

"The school’s motto is that they don't tolerate bullying at all, yet it feels as if she was only given a slap on the wrist and [she was] told not to do it again. It also feels wrong that I’m thinking this way, but I do think that there should be more done," OP shared.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of young teen looking sad


Stock image of young teen looking sad

OP also noticed the girl who was bullied is part of the band and is likely to attend the trip, which is what gave them pause about allowing Ella to attend.

"Would it be wrong if I didn’t allow Ella to go on the trip? She paid for half of the trip, but I don’t think she deserves to go."

"I can’t think of any other way to punish her. She loves to read and isn’t on her phone often. She has a good amount of friends, but doesn’t hang out with them often," OP continued. "What am I supposed to do, take away her books and make her hang out with her friends more? I think the trip is a good lesson, but my husband and a good friend of mine don’t agree with the decision, the reasoning being that Ella worked for that money."

OP emphasized that they wouldn't take the money away from Ella, just inform her she isn't allowed to go on the trip. OP admitted, "I don’t want that girl to have any possibility of being bullied again," asking if that was the wrong way to look at the situation.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of teen girls enjoying sunny beach


Stock image of teen girls enjoying sunny beach

Commenters were split on what OP's best move in this situation would be.

"You save the money --> you get to go on a field trip. You subject another human being to horrific emotional abuse --> you lose that field trip. All of our actions have consequences. Not just the positive ones," one commenter wrote.

Another commenter suggested OP go with as a chaperone. "Because frankly, I'd say let her go on the trip...but you shadow her every move as if she were still a 2-year-old, even to having her share your hotel room instead of another student. Because she's shown she can't be trusted on her own to behave in a civilized manner. That way, the consequences of losing trust become very clear to her over the course of the entire trip as she realizes her entire class sees her being treated like an infant."

"Basically...she earned the right to go on the trip by earning the money. She ALSO earned getting direct supervision on that trip by proving that she can't be trusted otherwise," they continued, adding, "And overall, I'd address her sense of entitlement. She's not entitled to a better grade than someone else just because she's healthier."

Many people implored OP to figure out what's going on with Ella that she's comfortable treating others this way.

"Banning her from the trip to Orlando, will hopefully teach her that bad behaviour loses HER things (that she really wants).  However, it won't teach her the actual effects of what she has done, on the victim. Bullying usually causes emotional damage for the victim, and certainly can worsen mental health issues," one person noted.

"So Ella really needs to understand what she's done. You need to force her to learn about mental health and bullying, and get her to write a lengthy essay about them (with references to research on these topics). You need to make her volunteer for mental health charities, etc."

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