Mom slams teacher who mocked her son, 9, for waving goodbye to her at school gates

The issue of toxic masculinity and the culture enabling it has been widely discussed in the past couple of years


                            Mom slams teacher who mocked her son, 9,  for waving goodbye to her at school gates
Comedian Joanna Neary was enraged upon learning that her ward's teacher had mocked him for waving goodbye at her (JoNeary.com)

A young mother took to social media to express her heartbreak when her nine-year-old son said he wouldn't wave her goodbye anymore when she dropped him off at school. Comedian Joanna Neary was enraged upon learning that her ward's teacher had mocked him for waving goodbye at her.

The issue of 'toxic masculinity' and the culture enabling it has been widely discussed in the past couple of years. MEAWW previously reported how shaving products maker Gillette faced backlash and boycott over an ad that tackled toxic masculinity. We also reported how bullied ten-year-old Quaden Bayles was afraid to return to school despite having the support of actor Hugh Jackman.

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"Yesterday, a male teacher openly mocked my son for turning back at the school gate to wave goodbye to me. Today, my son said he wants to stop waving from now on. This is how it starts," Neary wrote on Twitter, sharing her frustration. The UK-based actress expressed concerns that such behavior could lead to long term changes in her son's outlook. "For anyone saying this tweet is a critique of men or male teachers, you are completely wrong," she wrote. "I feel sorry for any teacher who feels the need to mock a nine-year-old for showing love and affection. What does it say about their childhood? Be gentle with our boys. #howitstarts."



 

Neary's Twitter thread went viral on social media, garnering tens of thousands of likes and retweets in just a day. The 49-year-old, who hosts the podcast 'Wife on Earth', later said she hoped her son would "rediscover his happy waving self." She added, “He’s only year 5. I know he’s getting bigger and I know I sound petty but in the current climate, it just feels like these are early warnings for male mental health. It’s just awful. I know these little things can sound petty but when we see the hurt and what it turns into... it’s huge and important.” 



 

Social media reacted to Joanna's concerns with shock and anguish, urging her to escalate the issue and bring it to the headteacher's notice. "I was a teacher for 27 years and a Headteacher for 9. Seek out your school's parent governor(s) and have a word with him/her/them. What that teacher did is bullying. He should be reported for his behavior," one tweeted. "As a teacher myself, I'd be having a chat with the school about "the little things" that negatively impact on kids' mental well-being. This sort of attitude is judgey and out of touch. The school will list MH as a priority but actions like this show the work needed," a comment read. "That's disgraceful. The teacher is clearly in the wrong job. Make a formal complaint to the Head and hopefully, he will be made to squirm and apologize. No child should be humiliated like that," another added.



 

 



 

 



 

According to Children's Society, toxic masculinity has "been around for centuries." In a blog on its website, the charity explains how it "puts pressure on men to think they need to have a strong physique, hide their emotions, and act in an aggressively dominant way. It’s seen in advertising, pop culture, and now toxic imagery is more accessible to young people through social media. Young men are constantly confronted by toxic male culture and images of what it is to 'be a man.'" The blog adds that the culture leads to men displaying dominance and aggression, which is often directed at women.

"It is harmful to our society as a whole. This desire for superiority challenges women's basic human rights and can be linked to the prevalence of harassment and sexual assaults," the charity adds.

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