A Good Teacher Will Make You Feel Heard

, , , , , | Learning | June 9, 2021

I’m twelve and in the seventh grade. I’m deaf and wear hearing aids. My science teacher is out sick, and we have a substitute. I’m sitting at the front of the class.

The substitute approaches me.

Substitute: “[My Name], headphones aren’t permitted during school.”

Me: *Confused* “What? I don’t have headphones.”

Substitute: “You have them in right now!”

Me: “These are my hearing aids.”

Substitute: “TAKE. THEM. OUT.”

Me: “I can’t. I need them to hear.”

Substitute: “NOW!”

Me: “No.”

The substitute rips my hearing aids out and stomps them. I start crying, both from the pain of having my hearing aids wrenched from my ears and from anger. Another student stands up.

Classmate: “Those were his hearing aids, you motherf*****!”

Substitute: “Office. Now.”

The student went to the office and returned with the vice-principal in about five minutes. The whole class was yelling at the substitute, and I was sitting there bawling.

The vice-principal sent the substitute out, regained control of the class, and comforted me. At the end of the day, the substitute was fired, the district paid to get my $3,000 hearing aids replaced, and the student who stood up for me was awarded $5 at the student store.


This story is part of our Best Of June 2021 roundup!

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