The three female members of staff laughed about the child without realising that their conversation was being recorded on Facebook Live and has since been seen by more than 12,000 people
Image: Becky Wardiell / SWNS)
A furious mum has slammed shocking footage of teachers laughing about her six-year-old daughter’s disabilities as they chatted, unaware that they were being recorded on Facebook Live.
The three female staff members were talking about Willow Musgrave, who has a life-saving tracheostomy in her throat to help her breathe, and one claimed the medical tube “made them feel sick” while another said it “looked really horrible”.
The youngster has had a tracheostomy since she was born 16 weeks premature and has complex health needs which require 24-hour care.
Unknown to the teaching staff, their entire chat was broadcast on Facebook Live last Saturday and was watched by more than 12,000 people.
The teaching staff were using Facebook Live before a school trip and their conversation about Willow was accidentally picked up.
Becky Wardiell / SWNS)
In the clip they discussed how teachers are asked to provide medical support for children with one heard to say: “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.”
While one of the teachers replied: “No I don’t. I know that’s really horrible.”
Towards the end of the conversation they laughed 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 St Andrew’s CofE Primary School in Kettering.
The three members of staff have not returned to the school which has launched an investigation into their comments.
Becky, who has four children, 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 school is part of the Peterborough Diocese Academy Trust.
Becky Wardiell / SWNS)
A spokesperson said: “Our school has a very strong community. We celebrate our successes collectively, and, when something happens that doesn’t meet the high standards that we set ourselves, we deal with those issues as openly and transparently as possible.
“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.
“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.
“We have apologised to the family concerned, and we will we 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.”
Willow has had a tracheostomy since the age of four months and requires 24-hour care, with siblings and neighbours learning how to change her tube if it gets dislodged.
It could be fatal to remove the tube for more than 15 minutes.
Becky added: “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.”
Becky has taken her case to Kettering-based solictors The Lawyer and The Nurse Ltd, which advocates for vulnerable children and adults.
Adam Cresswell, who is representing the family, said: “I fully accept that it was clearly never the intention for such cruel views to be shared on social media, but the fact remains that they were.
“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.”