Teacher Snatches Mic Away From Child With Autism During School Play

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via Facebook

A teacher stole the microphone from a first-grade boy with autism right before he got to speak his line

Footage of a Thanksgiving play at an elementary school in West Virginia is going viral for a heartbreaking reason. A first grade boy with autism was about to speak his line when a teacher intervened, preventing him from having his big moment. Now, the video has made the viral rounds and the internet is rightly upset.

Kent Squires and Amanda Riddles’ six-year-old son Caleb was very excited to play the role of the turkey in his class Thanksgiving play. According to Squires, he had been coming home from school telling his parents he would get to say “gobble gobble” during the performance, but when the time came, his teacher cruelly put a halt to it.

Squires shared the video on the Facebook page Autism Speaks where it was met with plenty of support from people who felt the teacher was way out of line. He wrote, “This is my little boy in his thanksgiving play. He is the last kid and has level one high-functioning autism. He has the biggest heart and always happy. Now watch it and see what a teacher of kids does to him. He has came home from school and said he gets to say gobble gobble cause he was playing the Turkey.”

It’s hard to watch the teacher snatch the microphone, causing Caleb to dissolve into tears and made even worse by the fact that several parents burst out laughing at his reaction. Whether a child has special needs or not, laughing at their pain is repulsive. The Facebook post is flooded with comments from those who feel the child was humiliated and wronged by what the teacher did.

According to WDTV News, superintendent of Harrison County Schools Dr. Mark Manchin says the teacher won’t be punished for her actions. He does, however, disagree with them. “But there’s no way to defend it, okay. We saw it, I saw it, the 17 second snippet…there’s no way to defend it.” He goes on to say she felt “horrible” about her actions. And frankly, she should.

My children have had brief speaking roles in school performances and they talked it up for weeks. They were so excited to get on stage and say the line they worked so hard to memorize. I can’t imagine the blind rage I would fly into if a teacher snatched the microphone before they had their chance. This sort of thing is a huge deal to a kid, and taking it away is an extremely cruel act.

Fortunately, Caleb and his family are receiving plenty of support and encouragement with his mother recently sharing a video of the boy happily saying his “gobble gobble” part. Hopefully, that teacher learned that a little sensitivity and patience goes a long way toward nurturing a child and making them feel good about themselves.

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