World

Elementary School Bans Blind Girl From Using Cane On Campus

| by Emily Smith

A blind girl was banned from bringing her walking cane to school after officials deemed the stick a threat for “health and safety” reasons.

Lily-Grace Hooper, a 7-year-old girl, suffered from a stroke when she was just four days old, the Bristol Post reports. As a result, she was left blind. She can now only see light and color in one eye.

The U.K. girl has since been told that using the walking cane at school could trip teachers and other students. According to a risk assessment from Sensory Support Service, an assessment demanded by the school, the cane caused high risk to people around Hooper.

Hooper was given a stick for Christmas as a donation from Common Sense Cane, a charity for blind children. She began using the cane, which became an extension of her arm, at school in April.

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“What about the health and safety of my girl?” Hooper’s mother, Kristy, asked.

Instead of using the cane, the school suggested that Hooper have full adult support at all times.

Hooper’s mother has insisted that having the aid of a helper will make Hooper too dependent on other people and will distance her from other students.

“It is a disability, but I want to celebrate it and make sure she can become independent,” Hooper’s mother said.

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Hooper’s mother added that other parents have been supportive of Hooper’s right to use her cane at school. She also noted that taking away a blind adult’s cane would be a form of discrimination, and that the same should apply to her young daughter.

Sources: Bristol Post, Telegraph / Photo credit: Bristol Post