The teachers had no idea their private conversation was caught on school's Facebook live just before a school trip. In the conversation, the three teachers were seen talking how they are asked to provide medical support for children, with one heard commenting: ‘You didn’t come into this to be changing tracheostomies.' The insensitive conversation was viewed by 12,000 people online and now the mother is taking legal action against the teachers.
Angry mother has decided to take action against teachers who made rude comments on her disabled 6-year-old daughter
6-year-old Willow, who studies in St Andrew’s CofE Primary School in Kettering, England, was born 16 weeks premature. She has complex health issues that require special and delicate 24-hour care.
On September 11, just before a school trip, Willow's three teachers who happened to be discussing about the little girl's health conditions, unknowingly broadcasted their chat online.
More than 12,000 people read the conversation that revolved around the girl
Teachers were caught making rude comments on the girl's health conditions and thousands of people were reading it online.
Because of Willow's complex condition, she has always been assisted by a life-saving tracheostomy in her throat, which helps the little girl breathe.
The conversation showed the teachers complaining about how they are asked to provide medical support to the students.
One teacher said; ‘The mask change for Willow. The mask fitting, it’s awful.’
Another wrote how she can't help the girl with her tracheostomy: ‘It makes me feel queasy. I couldn’t do it.’
One teacher actually said she ‘doesn’t like even looking at’ the tracheostomy.
Another replied: ‘I know that’s really horrible.’
The conversation, that was unknowingly broadcasted online, ended with the teachers laughing.
One said; ‘You didn’t come into this to be changing tracheostomies.’
The teachers were clueless that the school's Facebook live session caught their conversation
Willow's mom, Becky Wardiell, read the entire conversation and was heartbroken. She is now taking legal action against the school, which is part of Peterborough Diocese Academy Trust.
Becky has four kids and was furious to read the rude comments. She says her girl can't defend herself and that it's a life and death situation for her.
‘Willow can’t defend herself. It’s not her fault she has a tracheostomy. It’s a life or death situation for her. The school drums different values of the week into our children. But then they have teaching staff who speak like that about a child with a disability, what values does that show?’
Becky's friend saw the live session and sent her the link
‘For three adults to stand there and speak about Willow like that is nasty. Willow is the prettiest, happiest little girl. People who are in a position where they care for children shouldn’t talk about her like that just because she has a disability.’
The family is being represented by Adam Cresswell who says that though the conversation was not ‘intended’ to be shared online, ‘the fact remains that they were’.
Adam Cresswell said;
"Of most concern is the tone of the conversation between the teaching staff which can only be described as incredibly ugly and more than a little unkind."
"Within hours the video of the teachers’ conversation had been shared by over 10,000 people but it’s nice to see so many taking to social media to defend Willow, who battles with additional physical and learning needs on a daily basis but is nonetheless one of the happiest little kids you could ever meet."
The school is investigating the matter while the teachers have not returned to work ever since the conversation went viral.
The spokesperson of theprimary school says they deal with such matters ‘as openly and transparently as possible’, acknowledging that ‘over the weekend three staff members, who were together preparing for a school trip, appear to have accidentally shared a brief part of their conversation via Facebook Live.’
In a stament, the spokesperson said;
While talking about the planning, they discussed how teachers are asked to provide medical support for young people. In doing so, they also referenced one particular case in our school.
Every child who we are able to support from an educational, health and wellbeing perspective is very welcome in our community – irrespective of any challenges they may be facing.
Clearly there are elements of this conversation that should not have taken place, and the fact that the discussion was accidentally shared to a wider audience is also deeply regrettable.
According to the spokesperson, they have apologized to Willow's family who is really hurt. He also said the school will be ‘addressing this in greater depth with the staff members concerned’ as well as looking at ‘what additional training we can provide to help address any barriers about meeting the medical needs of our pupils’.