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Teen With Tourette’s Syndrome Confronts Classmate For Spreading Rumor That He’s Faking It

A frustrated student with a lot of homework hangs his head.

Teenagers can often have no sense of other people’s boundaries or privacy.

This can lead to issues with bullying.

And once adults get involved the situation can get worse.

Case in point…

Redditor kandibat wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for getting mad at a girl for saying I’m faking my Tourettes?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“Background: I 16 M[ale] suffer from Tourette’s syndrome, which I was diagnosed with when I was around 11 years old.”

“I say suffer because, in my experience, it has been horrible.”

“It affects daily aspects of my life and isn’t something I joke about.”

“The other day, while I was in the library, this girl (18 F[emale], senior) came up to me, and we started chatting.”

“I’ll call her Amy for the sake of the story.”

“Anyways, Amy tells me that she heard ‘through the grapevine’ that I was ‘going around telling people that I have Tourettes when I don’t.'”

“Extra bit of information: Amy is friends with this girl that I used to be relatively close with (we will call her Lily), and Lily knows that I have tourettes.”

“She used to come to my house often and only found out because she heard my mom asking me if my new meds were helping at all with my tics.”

“I thought Lily was my friend, so I explained to her that I was diagnosed as a child, and it is something I struggle a lot with.”

“She seemed okay with that answer and didn’t bring it up again.”

“Lily and I had a falling out around a year ago and haven’t spoken since.”

“I got upset at Amy and asked her who told her that I had it in the first place (already kind of knowing it was Lily), and she quickly tried to change the subject.”

“I, being extremely bothered by the fact that my diagnosis is being spoken about in conversations that don’t include me, got onto her.”

“I told Amy that if she thought I was faking, I could show her my diagnosis papers and records of all the tests they did on me as a kid to reach the conclusion that I have tourettes.”

“She said I was getting defensive and rude and that I shouldn’t ‘shoot the messenger.'”

“The next day, Amy’s brother (16 M), who is in my math class, told me that his sister is still going around telling people that I am faking tourettes.”

“He knows that Amy is a liar and just likes attention being on her.”

“He also told me this isn’t the first time she’s done something like this.”

“I went up to Amy that day at lunch and said ‘If you don’t keep my name out of your mouth, we’re going to have a serious problem.'”

“‘I don’t need you talking about my medical history with complete strangers.'”

“‘If I hear that you start spreading this s**t again, I’m going to get the Deans involved.'”

“This apparently made her cry during the next period and have what she described as a ‘bullying-induced autistic meltdown.'”

“So I got called to the counselor’s office, and when I explained what happened, the counselor said that I wasn’t being ‘tolerant enough’ and that if I didn’t apologize to Amy, I would get written up, and my mom would be called.”

“I went ahead and apologized to Amy, but told my mom what happened.”

“She said that I was not in the wrong and that Amy should have been the one to get punished.”

“I agree with her, but the school staff seem to think that I am in the wrong and a ‘bully.'”

The OP was left to wonder:

“Am I the A**hole?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA, Amy is TA.”

“She is a bully and an AH all the way.”

“I bet your teachers fail to see her true colors because they are biased regarding both your genders (as in boys always bully girls and there is no way it could be the other way round), which would mean that your teachers are also AHs.” ~ TielPerson

“You don’t want to stoop to their level as you said!”

“NTA – The school’s logic is whack in this situation.”

“Who TF is this person to come up to you and tell you out of nowhere that you are faking your diagnosis?”

“You threatened to tell the school what she was doing, not beat her up in the playground.”

“Your actions were within the framework of the rules of the school and society (technically, what she is doing is slander – especially since she continued to do it after you offered to give her access to medical records confirming your diagnosis).”

“I would suggest writing a letter to the school highlighting this because what they did is highly unjust.”

“People should experience consequences if they do bad things.”

“The fact she has autism means she might have some trouble understanding things but that doesn’t mean that her bad behavior should be ignored.”

“It needs to be explained to her what she did wrong so she has the opportunity to understand why it’s wrong and not do it again.” ~ Jim_Jam89

“This tactic will get you nowhere.”

“If you are in the US, have your mom go to school and complain.”

“This is just the first step.”

“Have your mom tell them anybody talking about your health is illegal and wrong.”

“That she needs for you to receive an apology and the other person some punishment.”

“Have her threaten and then follow through with going to the school board, and she could even threaten the news.”

“The headline is ‘School punishes student for wanting to keep his medical information private.'”

“Wouldn’t even have to specify what it was or who, just that they failed to protect the kid.”

“But in this instance, fighting fire with fire will only burn you.”

“The target is already on your back, and the deans have proven not to protect you.”

“Don’t give them an actual reason to go after you.”

“I would look into medical privacy laws wherever you are and see if you have a case.”

“Being petty can be fun to dream or talk about, but in this instance, it will just hurt you more.” ~ loulabug247

“NTA. The particular wording you used to talk to Amy at lunch might not have been the best, but she shouldn’t be spreading around your personal information, especially when you already told her not to.”

“Would recommend escalating to the deans and explaining the whole situation, including the comments the counselor made.” ~ MagiKal_08

“NTA. I think you should talk to the principal as soon as possible and is it possible for your mother to come with as support?”

“You did nothing wrong and shouldn’t be the one who apologized.” ~ Admirable_Broccoli_5

“Excuse me? The counselor said you weren’t being tolerant enough?”

“Amy is literally committing defamation.”

“You should not have apologized.”

“Escalate the situation to higher-ups. NTA.” ~ waywardjynx

“My sister has Tourette’s and if anyone ever said she was faking it, there would be hell to pay from me.”

“And I don’t even like my sister!”

“If this had happened to us when we were in high school, I would have complained to every single trusted teacher and both guidance counselors, and my parents would have raised hell to the administration.”

“It would have been scorched earth.”

“That said, I cannot imagine my guidance counselors not taking the situation seriously.”

“They were always good advocates for us.” ~ PennyParsnip

“NTA. Amy is a bully.”

“You mentioned she supposedly had an ‘autistic meltdown.'”

“If she has autism, she should know how it feels to be ‘different.'”

“How would she feel if someone said she was faking?”

“(Assuming she isn’t).” ~ xdark_realityx

“NTA. I’d explore your options for making an official complaint about how this has been handled by the school.”

“Amy has simply heard your threat to involve the deans and gone running to beat you to it with an alternate narrative.”

“The school has then just dismissed your valid complaint and been insensitive to what is essentially bullying towards you, just to hurriedly quieten a crying girl who is only crying to deflect her own shitty behavior.”

“The school should know better. It won’t have been the first teenager in the office with crocodile tears to avoid getting into trouble, and it won’t be the last.” ~ AlmaStrudel

“NTA. I’m so angry for you.”

“That was handled horribly by the staff and definitely Amy should have had some serious consequences for spreading rumors about you.”

“Also, she should look up ‘bullying’ because this ain’t it.”

“I’m so sorry this happened.”

“Don’t ever apologize for something you didn’t do wrong.”

“I would get my parents involved if I were you — this is a serious issue and was handled completely inappropriately.” ~ Severe-Possible-

OP came back with an update.

“Thank you guys so much for the advice. It really helped me form a plan for what to do.”

“Like some of you said, I’m going to get my mom involved.”

“A few of you guys suggested getting my dad involved too, but he is not in the picture so I may have my mom’s boyfriend come too (just because authority figures tend to not take moms seriously sometimes).”

“I’m also going to ask for the Deans to speak with Lily about what she (allegedly) said about me to Amy/other people so that I can try to control the spread of information at the root.”

“Again, thank you all for taking the time to read my post and taking me seriously.”

“It means a lot to have adults actually listen to me and not brush me off because of my age. 🙂 “

Well, OP, Reddit is with you all the way.

You deserve to be heard.

And you deserve SEVERAL apologies.

Glad that you have a game plan.

Keep everyone posted.