Two West Virginia parents were shocked when a school teacher snatched the microphone away from their 6-year-old autistic son as he prepared himself to say his line for a school play (video below).
Kent Squires and Amanda Riddle were excited to see their son, Caleb, in a Thanksgiving school play at Nutter Fort Primary School. But just as Caleb was set to say his line, "Gobble gobble," a teacher took the microphone away, the Daily Mail reported.
Squires shared a video of the incident on Facebook. 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. I am reaching out to see if something can be don't.
Riddle said she was left in tears.
"I was all excited to go to Caleb's play everyone did a good job," she wrote in a Facebook post. "I left in tears because one teacher grabbed the microphone from Caleb and in a mean way.
"My son is a little different I know this but his heart is so big and he loves everyone. What does it matter if he wanted to say 'gobble gobble,' he was the turkey."
The video was shared more than 24,000 times on Facebook. Several social media users expressed their outrage toward the teacher.
"As a parent of children in Harrison County schools, I am horrified by that woman's behavior," wrote one user. "Not only did she crunch that sweet child's heart by doing that, but she is showing the other students that kind of behavior is OK. It isn't OK at all.
"While I do not know the child or his family, I am part of his community. I can not stand to think that people can treat our children that way.
"I have already emailed the superintendent. I hope something can be done."
"Kent, something can be done about this. No child should be treated any different," wrote another user. "God made him special and he only gives children like him to parents worthy. Believe me cause i am a mother of a special needs child. This teacher needs reprimanded."
Harrison County Schools Superintendent Mark Manchin said the Board of Education has investigated the video.
"It's a mistake that was made," Manchin said. "There was no malice.
"This teacher, as all of our teachers, truly care about these young boys and girls. The program was over, at least as I understand, and the teacher had taken the microphone."