Ableism can show itself through microaggressions.
This is not acceptable, especially if you are a teacher. We should support students and instead of putting them down.
Understanding that all kids grow under different circumstances is part of being an educator.
Redditor expectingbutnotthis encountered this very issue with her teacher. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for telling the teacher to stop making comments on my wheelchair?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I’m 18f, have a pretty messed up pair of legs, have had since birth. I can walk but I 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.”
OP explained the situation with her teacher.
“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. AITA?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“It sounds like she thought a new wheelchair would be easy to get. In which case…surely if a child is showing up to school in old clothing/equipment/etc or looking general unkempt, and you think that would be easy to fix, you wouldn’t just jump to ‘child is being difficult.'”
“Surely you’d start with ‘better get more information, maybe things aren’t okay at home.'”
“She’d still be misunderstanding the problem, but I don’t see why misunderstandings lead to being a dick about it. There’s every reason to be compassionate whatever she thought was happening.”
“ETA: Apparently, some people are reading this as a defense of the teacher. It isn’t.” ~ TwoCoded
“Nah. A person like this would absolutely jump right to ‘child is being difficult,’ even if she were aware of difficulties at home.”
“This isn’t a misunderstanding. This is ableism and privilege at its best. This is being so far up your own ass that reality doesn’t exist. This is living so that things are only allowed how they are expected/wanted to be and anything else is unacceptable.”
“This is a person that should not be teaching. Hope OP reports her behavior and comments.”