-- An Ohio family is speaking out after receiving some social media backlash about a joke on the label of wine bottle gifts to their son’s teachers.
Parents Mary and Paul Sommers labeled the bottles with a picture of their 14-year-old son's face and a humorous message: "Our child might be the reason you drink, so enjoy this bottle on us.”
The older brother of Jake Sommers, the 14-year-old on the bottle, posted a picture of the gift on Twitter where most of the response was positive but some was critical.
“Horrible parents to say that their child thinks he’s a problem. Glad they weren’t my Mom and Dad,” one user tweeted.
“Not only this labels the kid as a problem, it also indicated that teacher has a drinking problem? Rude to say the least," another said.
But the family said the wine labels were meant as a joke and to show appreciation for teachers, not as a slam against Jake.
Mary Sommers said her friend who works for a printing company came up with the idea and made a mockup, which Mary Sommers showed to her son beforehand.
“I showed him the example label she had mocked up, and he said, 'Yeah, let’s run with this, Mom, and give it to my coaches too,'” Mary Sommers said.
Jake's older brother, Daniel, said Jake is not at all a bad student and that the wine bottle was meant to be a fun way of saying, '"Thanks for putting up with a classroom full of 25 students six hours a day.'”
“If they met us they’d know we have the two best parents in the entire world so it’s not a parenting problem,” Daniel said. “It’s more about teachers don’t get enough credit; they do a lot of work and the alcohol was just something to take the edge off and reward them for their hard work.”
Daniel agreed that he's not the type of student to drive a teacher to drink: “I’m not really a troublemaker. I’m more of a jokester," he said. “I just say funny things.”
A couple of negative comments on social media did not sit well with Mary Sommers.
“On one of the websites that they shared on Facebook, the comment was awful,” she said. “And my son was like, 'Mom, you just have to not read those.'”
For his part, Jake said the social media attention has made him feel a little famous.
“[People at school] all think I’m a celebrity because of how crazy it’s gotten online,” he said.