When faced with her teacher's shocking ignorance of female reproductive health, a 16-year-old girl decided to take a stand.
Despite decades-long efforts to raise awareness about menstruation, it continues to be surrounded by varying degrees of stigma, silence, and shame in many contexts across the world. This apparent lack of education—or pure ignorance in some cases—often puts those who experience this biological process in uncomfortable situations in classrooms, workplaces, and such. Whereas most of these incidents go unacknowledged, when faced with her teacher's shocking ignorance of female reproductive health, a 16-year-old girl decided to take a stand. Recounting the incident in a Reddit post, the teen asked fellow Redditors if she was wrong to get her teacher into trouble by reporting his behavior to school authorities.
"My school requires us to keep our cameras on during the entire class. If we need to use the restroom we are supposed to privately message our teacher and ask to leave. I have absolutely no issue with these rules as I understand that online teaching is hard and you have to make sure everyone is attentive during classes," she explained in the post. "We also have this system where at the end of the week every student is emailed a google document in which we are supposed to type out any problems we had with the classes during the week (eg—[if]a teacher is favoring a student etc..)"
"On Thursday, I had a math class which was taught by 'Mr. T.' He's never really been very strict and had always seemed quite reserved and quiet," she continued. "Of course, I've never been in a lesson with him outside of online school so I can't really judge. During the class, I realized I had started my period." The Redditor explained that she privately messaged Mr. T, requesting permission to be excused from the class to use the restroom. "I waited for 10 minutes but he didn't reply so I messaged him again, still no reply. By now I was getting extremely uncomfortable so I texted him for the third time explaining I had started my period and I really had to go," she wrote.
When he did finally respond to her messages, his reply left her stunned. "He replies with this, 'You should have planned better. Learn to control yourself,'" she revealed. "Uhhh... What? I CAN'T control my period. I tried explaining that I couldn't but he didn't respond. I got annoyed and switched off my camera anyways and left to the bathroom. Once I came back, I saw that he had kicked me out of the meeting." She later found out that Mr. T wrote her up for switching off her camera, resulting in her getting a warning from school officials. Understandably, she was "pissed."
"Since it was a Thursday I received the google doc and I complained about Mr. T in it. Today I found out, through my mother, who is also a teacher that Mr. T is being investigated as there have been multiple complaints about his behavior and mine was apparently the last straw," she revealed. "My dad, brother, and a few of my friends are calling me an asshole as I could've just waited for a while instead of complaining and potentially making a man lose his job, especially during this time. [I don't know, I'm] feeling really guilty now. I don't want him to lose his job. Am I the a**hole?"
After considering everything that transpired, an overwhelming number of Redditors assured her that she wasn't wrong to report Mr. T. "Your dad, brother, and friends (who I am assuming are also male) are the a**holes. I'm so fu**ing tired of men thinking we can just hold in our period blood the way you can with your bladder. This is a grown-a** man teaching a class of kids that are probably half female. He should know the bare basics about menstruation and how to address if a female student is having an issue. You are not the a**hole. If this was a long time coming and you were just the final straw, he should be fired," wrote u/levitatingloser.