Woman talking(l+r), Phone with venmo app(c)

Sulastri Sulastri/Shutterstock @goodbyetwenties/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I would be humiliated’: Mom says teacher sent her $370 Venmo request to pay for all the things her son broke in classroom

‘You have a lot of time on your hands.’

 

Brooke Sjoberg

Trending

The current state of public education and teacher pay often leaves educators to fill in the gaps in their classrooms.

Sometimes this means purchasing extra supplies, such as paints or markers, out of their own pocket. For particularly dedicated teachers, this could look like pricier investments in curriculum-based games and other, more expensive classroom materials.

Prices for educational materials can be quite high, depending on where they are purchased from. One mom says her son’s teacher is attempting to recoup some of the costs for lost or damaged items through Venmo requests to parents.

In a viral video posted by mom and content creator Bri Weimar (@goodbyetwenties on TikTok), she shows a $370 Venmo request she received for materials her son is alleged to have damaged or broken during the school year.

“This is not a normal thing that teachers do,” she says in the video. “Maybe it is, but look at this email she sent to all of the parents. I asked for a list of the items with the cost of everything Tatum broke. I get that teachers aren’t paid enough, but charging me $80 for missing puzzle pieces that my son apparently lost? Why kind of puzzles is she buying? Also charging him for a chair that broke. Maybe the school should buy sturdier chairs. I don’t think I’m going to pay this. I think there’s a lot of parents that agree with me in his class, but let me know what you think.”

The poster shows a screen grab of the letter she says was sent by her son’s teacher, outlining that the cost of replacing the items fell on her, as they were purchased with her own money. However, the letterhead shown in the video includes an address that does not exist, as well as a web URL that does not yield an actual website.

Many viewers might have missed one of the first tags included in the video’s caption, labeling it as satire. While the situation might not be real, other content creators and viewers are under the impression that it is.

Other content creators have taken the opportunity to comment on the matter, including user Casey (@caseyelizabethyt) who said she felt the teacher was not in the wrong to request the reimbursement for damaged materials she had likely purchased for the classroom herself.

“Would you guys pay this?” Casey asks in her video about the situation. “Because I think if my kids was breaking things that weren’t the school’s property, was the teachers property, I would totally feel terrible and pay for it.”

She did add the caveat that she felt the teacher should have been asking for reimbursement as these items were being broken or damaged in the classroom.

The Daily Dot has reached out to both Casey and Weimar via email regarding the videos.

In 2022, it was estimated that the average teacher in the U.S. would spend over $820 out of pocket on classroom materials. This comes as many states in the union are experiencing teacher shortages as well as other staffing and budgetary issues.

Given that teachers are almost expected to provide for their classrooms out of pocket at this point, many viewers of the original poster’s video sided with the teacher in this situation created by the poster.

“You absolutely should pay if your kid is damaging stuff,” one commenter wrote. “Good for her!”

“Pay for it! The nice things in the classroom is not provided by the school!” another commenter wrote.

“Students families are expected to replace items their students break,” a commenter wrote. “Why should teachers have to pay for it?”

@caseyelizabethyt Would you guys pay the venmo request?! @Bri Weimar | Goodbye Twenties #briweimar #school #teacher #teachersoftiktok #fyp #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Tea with Casey

Somę viewers clocked the nature of the video, but reiterated that students have always been expected to reimburse their schools for broken materials.

“Is this satire?” one commenter wrote. “Parents have always been asked to replace damaged items. My mom had to pay $4 in the 80’s for a broken spine on a math book. I remember because I had to do dishes all summer to repay.”

“She tagged it #satire so i’m not sure if this is real or not,” another commenter wrote.

“When the Venmo request says complete and the letter is dated 2025,” a commenter wrote.

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