Disability and cruelty

Category: Blog Published: Wednesday, 14 February 2018 Written by Butterfly Wing

Car Show 2014 Joomla TemplateSo today I went to the students' seminar session, where they do a presentation on a scientific paper they've read. It was on the whole a below-average one, where the presenters weren't very well prepared. But it happens, you know. We've all been there. Nothing new there. Unfortunately, one of the students wasn't told off for her lack of preparation but for the way she speaks! Not they way she speaks, as in she didn't practise enough so she couldn't remember what she was supposed to say or fumbled for words because well, truth be told, she wasn't well prepared and she fumbled for words. But no. You see, she appears to have a speech impediment. And of course I wasn't the only person who noticed. Everyone else obviously noticed as well. But what I also noticed was the audience, i.e. her peers. And then ... one of the lecturers!

Cruel and unkind

There is no two ways about it. The student was ill-prepared for her presentation, and that would have been a totally legitimate thing to pick up on and comment on. But throughout her presentation, I noticed quite a few of her peers giggling to each other, including (I'm ashamed to say) one of my own project students. I had hoped to myself that they were just giggling at something else. Something maybe they were chatting about to each other whilst not paying attention to the presentation, perhaps. But who was I kidding? Of course they were giggling about her. About the way she spoke. But not only the young and ill-informed students did, however. To my horror, and of course the poor student herself, one of the damn lecturers started going on about how she doesn't speak probably. How that was probably her nature - the way she is - but that as she's a teacher in training, that how next year when she has to do her in-school training in front of real pupils, that she would have a problem and how she needed to get some speech training or practice. IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE BLOODY CLASS! I mean, seriously? I get it. Yeah, maybe going off to do her teaching internship may present challenges. But I'd bet she knows that already. And really, did the damn lecturer have to say that to her in front of everyone? The less arseholey thing would've been to have a concerned quiet word with her perhaps. I don't know, but certainly not that! The look on the poor kid's face! But she recovered surprisingly quickly and managed to keep herself together. But what do you do in these kinds of situations? I didn't know what to say! I just did fuck all. There must've been something I could've said or done. But I didn't. I was just so gobsmacked! The ignorance and cruelty of people just left me speechless.{jcomments off}