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The Teacher Is The Neediest Of Them All

| Learning | April 14, 2015

(I’m in secondary school and am on the autistic spectrum. I’m usually quiet and co-operative but I’ve sometimes run into trouble for refusing to do things I think are pointless. I’ve been nagged into attending a lunchtime group for special needs pupils. After I’ve attended for a few weeks the staff decide to create a rule where the special needs students are made to read aloud to a staff member in front of everyone else. I decide this rule is unfair and discriminatory for several different reasons, mainly the fact that no non-disabled student is forced into any activity during free time. I refuse to read while otherwise behaving properly. This leads to conflict. One day I enter the room and take out my lunch. The second I sit down a staff member approaches me and leans over me in a confrontational and aggressive way.)

Staff Member: *drops fairytale book on table in front of me* “Read. Now.”

Me: “I’m still eating my lunch.”

Staff Member: *shouting* “NOW!”

Me: “I am still ea-”

Staff Member: “GET OUT!”

Me: “I’m still-”


Me: “Fine.” *I collect my things and leave*

(The next day I’m hanging around in the playground waiting for the library to open. The same member of staff approaches me.)

Staff Member: “Are you going to say sorry?”

Me: “No.”

Staff Member: “Are you going to read?”

Me: “No.”

Staff Member: “Well- you- you’ll be sorry!” *storms off*

(Several days pass. I spend my lunchtimes in the playground and library. One day after I come home mum calls me into the kitchen:)

Mum: “I’ve had a phone call from the school. They’ve told me you’ve stopped going to the club.”

Me: *confused* “But they threw me out.”

Mum: “WHAT?!”

(I never went to the club again despite staff members following me around trying to nag and cajole me into coming back, none of them acknowledging that I was made to leave in the first place. Later that year I left that school and transferred to a nearby school which had competent special needs staff.)

This story is part of our Autism roundup!

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