A student elicited more than 26,900 reactions and over 800 comments on social media for her story about a teacher who was making comments on her wheelchair.
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 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.”
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.
“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.”
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. The female wheelchair user now wonders if she was wrong for responding back in such a manner and asks 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).
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.”
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.
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.”
A wheelchair user took to the comments to express their opinion on interacting when someone has a mobility aid. They explain 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 they would be disappointed if nobody commented on it.
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.
*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.
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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.