A student received more than 26,900 reactions and over 800 comments on social media after sharing her story about a teacher who made comments about her wheelchair.
A Wheelchair User
18-year-old Amy*, an ambulatory wheelchair user, has used her chair for nearly seven years. She explains that it has become uncomfortable and makes noise, but she is still emotionally attached to it.
“I’m currently due an upgrade for my chair,” Amy said, “We’re saving to pay for the new one at the moment.”
The Chair Was Noisy
However, Amy’s English teacher has been making comments about how banged-up-looking the chair is and gets angry when she makes any noise while moving.
When Amy’s English teacher made a comment about her chair looking “like it’s about to collapse,” Amy got angry.
One Day Amy Stood Up For Herself
“You know what, if you think I should get a new chair so bad, you can pay the nearly four grand it’s gonna cost,” Amy said. “Or you can stop making nasty comments about something that literally doesn’t affect you.”
Her Classmate Criticized Her Move
The other student sitting beside Amy thought she was “a***ole-ish” because the teacher may not have realized how “difficult” it was to get a new one, and she didn’t need to respond so angrily.
Was She Wrong?
The female wheelchair user now wonders if she was wrong for responding back in such a manner and asks social media if she is an “a****ole”?
Reactions From The Reddit Community
Amy’s case has sparked debate on whether or not someone in her situation is justified in asking someone to stop making such comments. The consensus was that she was “not the a***ole.” (NTA).
The Teacher Made Inappropriate Comments
One user received more than 6,300 “upvotes” for their response: “Not at all. 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,” they said.
She Was Being Ignorant
Someone else replied: “I don’t get what the kid next to her was on about either. It doesn’t matter what the teacher did or did not know because ignorance is never an excuse for causing harm.
It Was Inappropriate
Another person commented, receiving more than 3,900 upvotes: “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 student’s appearance.”
It Was an Insult To Wheelchair Users
A wheelchair user took to the comments to express their opinion on interacting when someone has a mobility aid.
They explained that it is acceptable to give compliments such as, “Wow, your hair is so cool! I love the color!” but not appropriate to make rude comments like “Wow, your hair looks like it’s just going to fall off of your head, you should really get a haircut.”
The user also mentions that they spent over $12,000 on their wheelchair and would be disappointed if nobody commented on it.
Treat Others With Respect
This quote serves as an example of how people with mobility aids prefer to be treated when someone is commenting on their equipment. It emphasizes the importance of being respectful when interacting with individuals who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
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*Name changed for privacy reasons.
This story, Was She Wrong For Telling the Teacher to Stop Making Comments About Her Wheelchair? was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. This originally appeared on Reddit.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.