It's no secret that teachers have one of the most important yet least appreciated jobs in the world. They're responsible for molding young minds and instilling values in students that can last the rest of their lives, and can even inspire kids on who they want to become. That's why it's so frustrating when there's someone in class who insists on being disruptive, disrespectful, or just generally uncivil.
Sometimes, by some divine providence, an opportunity presents itself for a teacher to enact sweet, sweet revenge upon on unruly student, a circumstance so perfect that it's nearly impossible to pass up. Whether it's making cheaters read their plagiarized papers out loud in class or executing a complex, devious plan to ruin a girl's future in medical school, these kids will never, ever forget the lessons they learned. Here are some of Reddit teacher's craftiest, most ruthless stories of how they got back at 'that kid.' Content edited for clarity.
I replied, 'Huh? I didn't hear anything,' turned back around, and continued the lesson. A few kids cheered. It felt really good.
When Anthony was a senior, he was arrested at 18 for carrying a weapon without a permit. He did a year or so in jail and came out on parole, during which time he started selling weed. An acquaintance of his bought an eighth of an ounce off of him, and after the deal was over, Anthony shot the kid in the chest five or six times so he could get his weed back.
Anthony's friend apparently told Anthony to shoot the kid in the head to make sure he hadn't survived, but Anthony assured his friend that they had definitely killed him. The two left and the victim called the police on his cell phone. He survived and Anthony is currently serving a hefty prison sentence for attempted murder. Yeah, he's a real piece of crap."
"I've been a professor at a state university for the past 17 years and teach pre-health and pre-med students. I have many stories, both good and bad, but I'd never felt the need to retaliate against a student. Until one day, I met my nemesis. This student wanted to go to medical school, though they were of questionable intellect and came off as socially inept and personally odious.
My class and I stood in her way, so I had to be shoved out of the way on her route to being a healer. She figured the best way to get ahead was to be the squeaky wheel and complain about everything. In academia, if you complain enough about a class, we give you a high grade and send you up to the next poor schmuck for you to torment. Rinse and repeat.
This meant that my nemesis went all out to find everything and anything to complain about: Exam had 80 questions on it, syllabus said 75 questions, COMPLAINT. Lecture notes were released in a format that was based on PDF, but the student wanted PowerPoint, COMPLAINT. Missed questions on quizzes and material wasn't covered in lecture but assigned readings, COMPLAINT. 'Inappropriate' language in anatomy lecture, COMPLAINT. I was unable to return her emails the same day she wrote them, COMPLAINT. Everything I did, said, or thought about, COMPLAINT.
By the end, she had escalated these issues all of the way to the top and I got called into the dean's office. My administrators above me had worked with me for years, giving me no fear of a student 'going over my head' with a complaint. But by golly did this girl try.
Dean: 'This student has sent more than a dozen complaints to the administration.'
Me: 'Just a dozen? I was betting far, far more.'
Dean: 'Normally we would let this pass as this student is known for doing this, and has even involved legal counsel in previous classes. But you have somehow exceeded her previous complaint record by a factor of 3, and none of her other instructors this semester have gotten one. She has singled you out for complaints and some appear to be about you specifically targeting her. So just go easy, don't antagonize her, ride it out, and be done with it.'
Me: 'Thanks, dean, good talk.'
My nemesis kept it up. I gave her a higher grade than she deserved (which I believe was the whole point, as she needed the grades for med school). Then I washed my proverbial hands of the matter
A year later, I was assigned to be the head of the faculty commitee that creates group letters of recommendation for medical school applications, and she submitted the form for our committee to create her recommendation packet. Students can, and SHOULD, waive the right to have these evaluations. If you are afraid of what a professor will say about you, don't ask them for a letter.
My nemesis made sure to point out to the committee in a formal letter that because of problems with ALL of the professors that would be writing letters, she wanted to make sure their letters were appropriate and of the correct tone and content before we sent them off. Therefore, she wanted to review the letters before approving them for inclusion in her packet. Nobody wanted to drop the atom bomb on her and write an honest letter since, you know, lawyers, so our hands were tied.
However, some brave soul went around and solicited her letter writers into creating sublime choruses of praise; these would be the letters you would expect to read to the Nobel Committee about Hawking, Einstein, Newton, and Feynman. We are talking true works of art. Nobody would believe that a student with this background or MCAT score could get one of these eulogy masterpieces, let alone a whole panel.
Then I included a note from the committee stating that the student had previously filed academic complaints against each and every professor that wrote her a letter, therefore these letters may not reflect her true academic potential. We got our school lawyer to check it with a fine tooth comb, but our committee 'had a duty in our recommendation letter to inform those reading the professors' individual recommendations if there may be a mitigating circumstance or formal action that could influence the accuracy and quality of the recommendations.' The thing is, the student does not have the right to see that part unless they request it later...after the letters have been sent out, unfortunately for them.
So this girl carpet bombed the medical schools with primary applications; every big, small, and offshore school that existed got one. The cost must have been staggering, but with parents that can afford lawyers for their brat in undergrad, I'm sure they footed the bill gladly to get her out of the house. Within her application packet came those beautiful letters and those three explosive paragraphs explaining that this student filed academic complaints against every letter writer and did not waive the right to keep their letters secret. It doesn't take a genius on the admissions committee of each of these schools to read between the lines and drop that application in the trash before granting an interview.
She did not get one interview. More than 30 applications, and not one school invited her to continue her application process. That warrants a professorial, 'BOOOO-YAAAAAH!' For those of you whose lives I may have saved by preventing her from becoming the most litigious and incompetent doctor imaginable and messing up treatment to you or your loved ones, you are most heartily welcome."
"I was in a class where the professor had the two blatant plagiarists stand up and read both of their papers at the same time. Halfway through, without even looking at them and his eyes turned to a wall, the professor said their final conclusion statements out loud.
It turned out that they stole from his own body of work and changed just enough of the paper to make it past the plagiarism-bot, but he read every paper anyway. To this day, it was the most awkward and hilarious thing I have ever seen.
He then told them that every paper they wrote from then on would be read out loud by them after each submission and he would personally grade their papers. They also had to sit at the front of the class and he would call on them first for very vague questions. He was simply furious that these two stole from him, called it their own ideas, changed it into a weaker structure, and then complained about their low-grade. He crushed them, and it was great."
"I had a letter mailed to my office with paid postage and everything that was basically threatening me, saying I'd better stop 'handing out' Cs and Ds or 'word on the street' was going to be that I was a bad teacher, no one would take my class, and I'd be out of a job.
I had a pretty good idea of who it was and obviously immediately ruled out all the students doing well in my classes, but I didn't think direct accusations would really be effective. Fortunately, I knew the perfect way to out the culprit without accusing anyone.