The “Old Witch” Wouldn’t Respect a Student’s Post-Transitioning Name, so They Didn’t Respect Hers

This story comes to us from Rufus, a schoolteacher who found himself fighting for a pupil’s rights. One teacher’s refusal to respect a student’s chosen identity sets off a chain reaction. As Rufus witnesses this struggle, he devises a clever way to teach a lesson about respect. Let’s take a look.

The New “Janet”

Three years ago, just before a school year began, a student known as “Jacob” since kindergarten walked into the school with her parents.

Now, at 15, she had come out as transgender and chose her new name, “Janet.”

Her family wholeheartedly supported her. Together, they sat with the school administration to plan how they would address her transition during the school year.

For the most part, things were straightforward. Janet had no P.E. classes and wasn’t involved in sports, so there were no locker room concerns.

Janet Felt Out of Place in the Boys’ Restroom

There was, however, the matter of restrooms. Janet felt out of place in the boys’ restroom, and she understood that some girls might feel uneasy with her using the girls’ facility.

With Janet’s input, the school decided she could use single-person restrooms in specific areas.

However, a bureaucratic challenge emerged. The state law mandated that a student’s educational records bear their legal name.

Since “Janet” wasn’t her legal name yet, it couldn’t replace “Jacob” in the system.

“Jacob Wishes To Be Known as Janet”

But a solution presented itself: the system had a section for notes about students.

They added a note, “Jacob wishes to be known as Janet. Please refer to her as such in all communication and interaction.”

When school commenced, most students effortlessly adapted to Janet’s new identity. Even teachers who had known her for years adjusted with minimal errors.

Those who made mistakes would quickly apologize and correct themselves. Everyone seemed content, and the year progressed smoothly.

The “Old Witch”

That was until the second semester.

Janet started a new elective class taught by a notoriously difficult teacher known to all as the “Old Witch.”

This woman was close to retirement and set in her ways, resisting change at every turn.

Crucially, she had just married a man from the school’s maintenance team, changing her last name from “Jones” to “Smith.”

“I Forgot, I’ll Try To Remember Next Time”

One day, after her class with Mrs. Smith, a visibly upset Janet walked into Rufus’s classroom.

Upon inquiry, Janet revealed that Mrs. Smith repeatedly called her “Jacob,” dismissing corrections from students with a casual, “I forgot, I’ll try to remember next time.”

Weeks passed, and Mrs. Smith’s behavior remained unchanged. The school’s administration got involved and spoke with her multiple times.

Each instance resulted in Mrs. Smith defending herself and saying, “I’m trying, but I’m an old lady who can’t change habits easily. I’ll try, but it’s just an honest mistake.”

She Admitted to Purposefully Using “Jacob”

Rufus might have believed Old Witch. However, he soon learned from a colleague that in private, Mrs. Smith had admitted to purposefully using “Jacob,” stating that she would continue to do so! “He was Jacob for years, and the system says he’s Jacob, so that’s what I’m going to call him.”

Rufus couldn’t let this slide. Seeing an LGBTQ+ student disrespected hit too close to home. So, he devised a plan.

From then on, Rufus deliberately referred to Mrs. Smith by her old name, “Mrs. Jones.”

Whenever she corrected him, he echoed her words: “I’m sorry, it’s just habit. I’ll try to remember next time.”

Many Students Started “Forgetting” Mrs. Smith’s New Name

Much to everyone’s satisfaction, many students also started “forgetting” Mrs. Smith’s new name.

Mrs. Smith’s frustration grew as she felt the sting of being called by the wrong name.

She tried seeking administrative help, but even the principal seemed to see through her. He assured her that no one would ever intentionally use the wrong name.

The Old Witch Grappled With the Issue Until Her Retirement

Old Witch struggled with the student body over her name for the rest of the year.

Rufus left the school that summer for unrelated reasons. However, he later heard that Old Witch grappled with the issue until her retirement – coincidentally, the same year Janet graduated!

Have you ever stood up for someone when they were being treated unfairly? Let us know in the comments.

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The post The “Old Witch” Wouldn’t Respect a Student’s Post-Transitioning Name, so They Didn’t Respect Hers first appeared on The Net Worth Of.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dean Drobot. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

Source: Reddit