School can be a notoriously treacherous place.
Sadly, far too many students simply don’t feel safe walking down the halls of their school, and find themselves ostracized and bullied for not being part of the “in-crowd”.
One would hope that all teachers are cognizant enough to stop bullying and such from happening, yet far too many overlook it.
In some particularly sad cases, the teachers are even the ones doing the bullying.
Redditor AITeacher was well aware that she stood out among the other students at her school.
Which made her resent the fact that her teacher made this even more apparent during a recent class all the more.
So much so that the original poster (OP) felt she had no choice but to talk back to her teacher.
Worried she may have been out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling the teacher to stop making comments on my wheelchair?”
The OP explained how her teacher made her feel even more uncomfortable that she usually does while at school, and was simply not going to tolerate it.
‘I’m 18 F[emale], have a pretty messed up pair of legs, have had since birth, I can walk but am an ambulatory wheelchair user.”
“I’m currently due an upgrade for my chair, I’ve had it close to 7 years and it’s a bit messed up.”
“It’s gotten pretty uncomfortable and it makes noise but like I said, I’ve had it 7 years and I’ve grown rather attached to it.”
“We’re saving to pay for the new one at the moment.”
“I have one teacher, my English teacher, who constantly makes comments about how banged up looking it is, and gets pretty pissed any time I dare move and it makes noise.”
“She says it’s distracting.”
“The comments about the appearance of the chair annoy me a lot because it’s hardly going to look brand new after 7 years of constant use.”
“She made a comment this morning along the lines of ‘You know, you should really get a new one, that one looks like it’s about to collapse under you’.”
“I got really mad about this and I said, ‘You know what, if you think I should get a new chair so bad, you can pay the nearly 4 grand it’s gonna cost or you can stop making nasty comments about something that literally doesn’t affect you’.”
“She didn’t really look at me until the end of the class but the boy who sits besides me said it was slightly a**holeish as she probably didn’t realize how difficult the process was.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was in no way the a**hole for asking her teacher to stop making comments about the condition of her wheelchair.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s teacher was being incredibly insensitive, unprofessional, and borderline ableist, and the OP did not need to tolerate that kind of behavior.
“Mobility aids are often expensive and hard/slow to get the right fit for the individual.”
“It doesn’t take someone with vast medical knowledge to know this.”
“And even if it did, she’s an adult and supposed to be a professional, it’s not acceptable for her to pass comment on any aspect of a students appearance.”- riano25
“It’s bizarre and SO rude to comment on someone’s wheelchair.”
“Has she just crawled out from under a rock?”
“Of course wheelchairs are expensive.”
“I would reach out to the principal just to be sure she doesn’t hold this against you come time for grades.”- ughneedausername
“As a teacher myself, I am mortified by your English teacher.”
“If she is that concerned over the condition of your wheelchair, the only acceptable thing would be to pull you aside and maybe ask if you are open to her helping doing some fundraising.”
“She knows those chairs are not cheap.”
“We all know those chairs aren’t cheap.”
‘It also bothers me about how concerned she is with the noise from your chair distracting her.”
“Legit, the other noises coming from everywhere while teaching are distracting, and you get used to them.”
“Pencil sharpener being used?”
“Kids whispering to each other?”
“Kids running down the hall outside your classroom?”
“Yeah, still teaching over that too.”
“I wish you the best dealing with this teacher, I would consider reporting her, and I hope that only for your sake, since you talk about being uncomfortable sitting in it, that you get your new chair soon.”- sci_geek102
“I imagine she’s gotten really annoyed at the little noises your wheel chair makes, like we all do it some keeps making noise.”
“She might even think you’re doing it on purpose!”
“However that is never a good reason to single out and basically bully a student.”
“While she might not realize how expensive a new wheelchair is, people are often naive about these things, she shouldn’t mock someone because they’re poor, ie unable to pay the ‘small’ amount to update the object.”
“Either way, she’s a teacher and needs to start acting more professional.”- justanothersunbrunch
“She should’ve spoken to you quietly and away from the other students.”
“I know how expensive wheelchairs are as my middle kids wheelchair is worth $10500+ and that’s just a basic chair with thoracic support, belt and harness points for traveling in a wheelchair van.”
“Would the school possibly consider doing a fundraiser to help purchase you a new wheelchair?”-G8RTOAD
“No one needs to be commenting on your mode of transportation.”
“Do they think you don’t know the condition your chair is in?”
“You’re in it every day! “
“You’re living in it.”
“It’s just rude to be pointing it out.”- Unsolicitedadvice13
“This made me mad just reading it, so I can’t imagine how angry you must have felt.”- BassElement
‘It is her problem she chose not to educate herself before making a comment.”
“And it would’ve been a great opportunity to show her students moral values if she would’ve helped to fund your new wheelchair instead of being an AH.”- NB-mom
“NTA and please report the teacher.”
“This is definitely discriminatory.”- Duochan_Maxwell
What kind of educator picks on one of their students for their wheelchair?
“Furthermore, why is the first instinct to ridicule rather than to try helping?”
“OP is rolling up in a rickety old wheelchair and it’s never occurred to anyone to inquire as to whether they can help in some way?”
“Start a go-fund-me on their behalf?”
“The audacity here just blows my mind.”- sleepy_antelope
‘I could maybe understand her privately asking you to address any excessive noises the chair might make if it’s so very bad that it’s disrupting class.”
‘But she went far beyond that.”
‘You handled her nosy inappropriate comments just fine.”- HotWifeJ2021
“Teachers are human and can be out of touch with the reality their students live.”
“Your correction was to the point.”
“If the teacher keeps it up, go over their head and make sure you are advocating for your needs.”-tdorn2000
“Please report her to the admin office for discrimination and ablest harassment.”- booksandcheesedip
“If she didn’t realize ‘how difficult the process was’, then she shouldn’t have opened her mouth about something she knows f*ckall about.”
“I hope you gather the required funds soon.”- Coballz
“I don’t understand WHY it needs to look better.”
“It’s a tool.”
“Tools get used.”
“It’s not a fashion accessory.”
“I don’t know if I have ever noticed the aesthetic condition of anyone’s wheelchair.”
“I don’t understand why it matters to her.’
“If she was worried about its structural integrity then she should bring it up to the counselor to look up community programs to find you a free or discounted chair.”
“Wo the f8ck does she think she is?”
“Do other students get comments about their equipment, shoes, clothes or body?”- BurningBazz
“No, NTA at all.”
“You teacher is the one who behaved badly.”
“In future, if someone harasses you over something outside of your control, take them aside the very first time and ask them nicely to stop.”
“If there’s a second time, tell them to stop.”
“If there’s a third time, escalate to whoever is in authority over them.”
“You don’t have to take undeserved crap from anybody.”
“Plus life is too short to suffer in silence.”- BlackStarBlues
It is a teacher’s job to put an end to distractions which are getting in the way of their lessons.
However, it’s hard to imagine how the OP’s teacher could have possibly thought it was at all appropriate to scold her over something she had no control over.
Particularly in the public manner in which she did it.
If being called out by the OP is the worst thing to happen to this teacher, she should consider herself lucky.