When it comes to our health and medical history, there’s a certain expectation of privacy.
But does that only pertain to adults? Can an adult question a child about their health status?
What if the adult is a teacher and the child is their student?
A 16-year-old girl pondered that question after their teacher asked repeated, intrusive questions about her health. Finally fed up, the student walked out of class.
After receiving criticism from friends and family, the high school student turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback on their actions.
“AITA for leaving class after my teacher wouldn’t drop a topic I had asked her to drop?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“My school has two blood drives each year. Only those 16 and up can give blood.”
“The day before the drive, students go class to class to ask who wants to participate that can. They came into my class and asked.”
“All but three students raised their hands, Me and two others.”
“The teacher, who is big on giving to those in need started asking us why we didn’t raise our hands. When she asked me, I told her that I wasn’t allowed to and physically couldn’t as I am anemic.”
“My doctor told me not to give blood outside of a hospital.”
“She said that wasn’t a valid reason and I spent over ten minutes trying to explain why I couldn’t but it was like she just couldn’t understand. Other students had also tried to explain but she wasn’t having it.”
“I started to get frustrated and I asked if she would please just leave it alone and that I just wasn’t going to give blood, because I didn’t want to end up getting more upset and accidentally raising my voice or saying something that would get me in trouble.”
“She said ‘not until you give me a reason why’.”
“I gathered my things and told her that if this bothered her so much to contact my dad and talk to him. I also told her that I was going to the office to file a complaint because getting mad at me for something like this was extremely unprofessional on her part and I wasn’t going to deal with this.”
“There was only about ten minutes left of class when I left.”
“I texted my friends about it and one of them said that I should have just shut up and dealt with it, that my response was rude and disrespectful. Another friend agreed with her and now my friend group is split.”
“My mom also said I was out of line and that I should have waited until lunch to report it. My dad says he agrees with me and will have a conversation with the school about it.”
“I feel a little bad though, was my reaction really that disrespectful? I didn’t mean for it to be.”
The OP summed up their predicament.
“My teacher got mad at me when I said I wouldn’t give blood and after a while, I just walked out.”
“My friends are split and my mom says I was being rude.”
“Was I being that rude?”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors unanimously declared the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“NTA, your teacher was told you had a literal medical condition that disqualified you from giving blood and she still tried to guilt you into doing it.”
“They deserve to be reported for trying to make you do something that is detrimental to your health even after you explained that it was medically inadvisable for you to give blood.”
“And honestly, even if you didn’t have a condition and just weren’t comfortable doing so, she still wouldn’t have any damn business trying to pressure you into doing it if you said you didn’t want to.” ~ Mizu005
“NTA. You were assertive but not rude. You removed yourself from the situation rather than lose your temper and escalate things.”
“After this exchange with the teacher, I would be surprised if you would be able to stay in class and concentrate on any teaching.”
“Your teacher was extremely unprofessional and was pretty much harassing you. It is not their business why you choose not to give blood and they should not be asking for details.” ~ NSRiverPaddler
“That’s a hell of a lot of classroom time to spend bullying a student. You did good by reporting her, I really doubt it’s the first time she’s abused her power like this.”
“She was way out of line and it breaks my heart your mom, another woman, wouldn’t be proud of you for not allowing someone to attempt to bully you into the hospital/nurse’s office by making you give blood.”
“NTA, don’t lose that backbone like your mom lost hers.” ~ Zombemi
Many praised her decision to defend herself calmly and remove herself from the situation.
“You handled this like a pro. You stood up for yourself, you were assertive and you left before doing or saying something you would regret.”
“I would be proud of you if you were my daughter, that’s why your Dad is proud of you too. very well done.”
“And your teacher is a total a**. I have anemia, you could have fainted if you gave blood.” ~ biochemisting
“10 min or the whole class I’d still call NTA. I’d like to think my daughter would do the same and I’d back her up.”
“As soon as you said your doctor told you not to do it, that should have been the end of it. Well, it wasn’t her place to dig into that to begin with, but I think you know what I mean.” ~ Drackoda
“The stuff at the blood run would disqualify you once you explained the situation anyway.”
“That being said, NTA. It’s a good thing that you have the strength to stand up for yourself and not allow a figure of power to bully you into something.”
“People always made a big deal out of blood run in my school/college, too. I had very low blood pressure and was always disqualified on the spot.”
“She needs to understand she is not a medical professional and, at the end of the day, these are personal data, and she shouldn’t ask such questions in front of others, not even the class.” ~ Annita79
“Some people in authoritative roles get off on enforcing arbitrary ideas. People telling you you are ‘rude’ are only doing so because they expect you to follow those authorities blindly.”
“Once you say ‘no’ to them, it’s automatically deemed rude.”
“My boss at work is this way. Luckily the owner likes me, so I continue to tell my direct supervisor when I disagree with what she wants, and I’m firm in telling her what I will not do.”
“She constantly mistakes this as ‘rudeness’ and I have to constantly tell her I’m being both respectful and firm, not disrespectful. “
“Always stand by your choices with these types of people. The only thing they consider respectful is a yes and total acquiescence.” ~ abominablesnowlady
Members of the education and medical professions also weighed in.
“As a teacher, I think yours was very unprofessional and lacking in common sense. What if you couldn’t donate blood for some really sensitive reason such as being an HIV carrier or being underweight because of an eating disorder?”
“Was she going to harass you until you admitted it? There are plenty of reasons why people may not be able to give blood.”
“Not only did she inappropriately pressure you, she wasted class time as well.”
“When you said you couldn’t, she should have said, ‘Well, okay then’ or suggested you try some other way to help, and then moved back to the course material.” ~ SuLiaodai
“As a former blood bank phlebotomist, one-time blood drive coordinator, and current RN, your teacher was out of line.”
“No means no. It CANNOT be compulsory to donate because we rely on the honesty of donors in ensuring the safety of donors, staff, and patients.”
“Actions like what your teacher did make honesty less likely, in this case potentially putting YOU at risk.”
“Your doctor, who knows you FAR better than a blood bank’s medical director (also a doctor, obv), made the call that donating blood should only be done in a hospital setting.”
“Donors are screened to prevent risks. You probably would have been caught during this and not allowed to donate.”
“Now you COULD have ‘attempted’ to donate, and either told the screener, ‘hey, my doctor told me not to donate because of a medical condition I have’, or answered the screening question ‘Do you have a blood or bleeding disorder?’ with a ‘Yes’.”
“That would likely have prompted the screener to ask additional questions or just ‘defer’ you (make you ineligible for the day).”
“But you already were told not to. You were prescreened by your doctor.”
“No one is a better authority over whether you should donate than them. Not even the blood bank doctor, who would have agreed your doctor makes that call!”
“Regardless, that’s not your teacher’s call. She/he is a trained educator, not a doctor.”
“As a teacher, encourage donating? Sure, absolutely!”
“But coerce? Not even once.” ~ kpsi355
Even if the OP’s mother and friends disagree, she has several thousand strangers online supporting her actions.
Hopefully, more people in her life will also come to that conclusion.