How would you feel if your child’s school published a note confirming they’d only be teaching academics, not manners.  Normal right?

Well, check out this Portuguese school note shared to all parents. You can see why it quickly went viral.

The authenticity of the post, which has since gone viral, is still up for debate. But, whether it’s actually real or not doesn’t seem to matter for some mums. It’s the message behind the poster, and not the school that may (or may not) have hung it up.

It’s not like this is the first time that someone said, “Hey, kids need to learn some things at home” or thought that schools are so strapped for time that they need to focus on the academics – and not absolutely everything else.

This announcement brings up the idea of what schools’ responsibilities really are. Obviously, they’re responsible for teaching your children. But, what should they teach them? There are the academics. Those are a given. What kind of school would slack off and stop teaching reading, writing, math, science and all of the other academics? Then there are the not-so-academic aspects of school.

Your child needs to respect her friends, her teachers and other school staff. Right? She needs to say please and thank you. And, she needs to keep herself (and her school-things) clean and well organised. So, who has the responsibility to teach your child how to do these things? That’s exactly what this letter, poster, post or whatever you want to call it points out.

Some mums (and dads) feel like schools need to help their kiddos learn social skills and work on their behaviours. At the same time, other parents think that schools need to stick to what school are supposed to do – teach academics. With shrinking school budgets and over-worked teachers, it’s no wonder that the school’s role in a child’s life is under a microscope. After all, who’s going to pay for the extra time that the teacher needs to help the children to learn about saying, “Thank you”?


Erica Loop is a mum, parenting writer and educator with an MS in child development. Along with writing for websites such as PBS Parents,, Scary Mommy,, Modern Mom, and others, she also is the creator of a kids' activities and art blog.


  1. Absolutely so simple, yet so brilliant. Most parents I would like to believe already subscribe to this theory that we as parents are the first teachers of our children, and that ultimately we are also responsible when an education system or any other ‘civilized’ institution has a need to remind us of this that we are failing our children.
    We are to support the Education System and our Educators in Academics, not the reverse.

    Well done, and could this please be sent right up to the Australian Education Minister and every single Dept Head below for distribution to every home in Australia, every Family Court, every Physiologist and anywhere else, children, parents, responsible adults and persons in charge or of authority will be or not….repeatedly.

    I do not care how busy your life is, if you have enough time to create children, you …yes both of you have enough time and are responsible for their first 18 years(currently), their first words, the next umpteen dozen and all their manners during those years before you dump them on someone else to deal with. (Exceptions to parents in extreme life situations, severe child health issues etc, we are not ignorant of the real life extenuating circumstances).

  2. Kristy Lee Coles Reply

    I love this post, I think that all parents should teach their children manners, I do with my children and I hope they use their manners when I’m not around, it’s not a teachers job to do everything that’s what parents forget, we teach our children too and you would think by the time they went to school started school or kindergarten they would no all of this

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