A mum is furious after teaching staff joked about her disabled daughter’s condition on Facebook Live thinking their mic was off.
Willow Musgrave, 6, has a life-saving tracheostomy in her throat to help her breathe.
Three women who work at St Andrew’s CofE Primary School in Kettering, Northamptonshire, were heard laughing when one said the medical tube ‘made them feel sick’.
The entire chat was broadcast on Facebook Live on Saturday and was watched by more than 12,000 people.
The one-minute recording was made when on of the teaching assistants accidentally pressed the app button when she sat on her phone.
In the clip they discussed how teachers are asked to provide medical support for children.
One was heard saying. ‘The mask change for Willow. The mask fitting, it’s awful.’
Talking about helping with her tracheostomy, one said: ‘It makes me feel queasy. I couldn’t do it.’
Another said: ‘I don’t like even looking at it.’
One replied: ‘No I don’t. I know that’s really horrible.’
Towards the end of the conversation laughter followed when one said: ‘You didn’t come into this to be changing tracheostomies.’
Willow’s outraged mum Becky Wardiell, 34, is now taking legal action against the school.
She explained how her daughter, who requires 24 hour care, needs the tube to survive after being born 16 weeks premature.
Becky said: ‘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?
‘My friend saw it on Facebook and was so outraged she sent me the link. I was so shocked and angry. I think I had every emotion going.’
The three members of staff have not returned to the school, which has launched an investigation into their comments.
Becky said: ‘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 mum-of-four added that the teachers who look after Willow have all had their training and have always been ‘brilliant’ with her.
She said: ‘This is what I don’t understand – why was it brought up by the teachers and why are they laughing when one of them says it makes them feel queasy.
‘How can you speak about a six-year-old child in that way, whether she’s got disabilities or she hasn’t as an adult and as a teacher that is supposed to teach our kids all these values?
‘They’re not showing the kids any values.’
Becky said she accepted an apology from the headteacher but not the staff involved.
‘I kindly told them to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.
‘I have instructed solicitors but I don’t want compensation.
‘It is not about that, I just don’t want the staff responsible to be allowed back at the school.’
A spokesman for the Peterborough Diocese Academy Trust, which runs the school, said: ‘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.
‘We have apologised to the family concerned, and we will be addressing this in greater depth with the staff members concerned.
‘We will also look at what additional training we can provide to help address any barriers about meeting the medical needs of our pupils.’
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