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I Just Found Out PTO Doesn’t Stand for Pretentious Tw*t Offensive, and I Am Shook

By Samantha Wassel of Between the Monkey Bars

Y’all better sit down for this, because I just learned something that’s going to blow your fucking minds.

The PTO isn’t what you think it is.

I came to this shocking revelation earlier this week when I received the following email from my kids’ school:

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“You are invited to a virtual Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meeting via Zoom this Thursday at 6 PM,” it stated. “Please know that even though this is a virtual event, you are expected to wear khaki capris and also be cooking some sort of casserole at the time of the meeting. Athleisure wear of any kind will not be tolerated.”

Woah, woah, woah, I thought to myself. Back the fucking bus up. (Actually, my kids’ bus driver has to do this on the reg because I never have them out to the bus stop on time, despite the fact that I spend the entire morning screaming at them to GET THEIR FUCKING SHOES ON.) Are you meaning to tell me that PTO stands for “Parent Teacher Organization”?

I always assumed it meant “Pretentious Twat Offensive.”

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Turns out I’ve been wrong about the PTO all this time. After I got the evite, I legit googled that shit. It’s like, a nationwide thing that—according to the internet— “gives parents and teachers the opportunity to work together to supplement and enrich the educational experience.”

Look, I had no idea. I always thought the barrage of emails, phone calls, Facebook messages, newsletters, sign-up sheets, and “meetings” were just byproducts of another convoluted pyramid scheme that some presumptuous Susan was trying to shove down my throat. Those bitches are always coming at me with talk about selling overpriced wrapping paper. Or asking me to make gluten-free, sugar-free, peanut-free, dairy-free, joy-free cupcakes. I didn’t know I could actually, like, contribute to my kids’ “educational experience.”

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So consider this a PSA: If you want to be more involved in your kids’ education, you might want to start reading those emails instead of immediately deleting them or filing them away as spam.

Also, hit me up if you need any wrapping paper.


About the Author

Samantha Wassel is a sarcastic and slightly unhinged SAHM to three energetic boys and four lazy cats. She enjoys running, writing, kettle-belling, reading, nerding out, and eating exorbitant amounts of goat cheese and peanut butter (but not together, because barf). You can find more of her work at Between the Monkey Bars.