“Why would she do that?”
That’s the question one mother can be heard asking in a video after a teacher in West Virginia snatched the microphone away from the stage just before a 6-year-old boy with autism was about to deliver his closing line at a school Thanksgiving play, WDTV in Bridgeport reported last week.
Now plenty of people online are asking the same question, as the heartbreaking video showing the little boy being brought to tears by the incident as the crowd looked on has gone viral.
In the footage, children in Thanksgiving costumes are seen approaching the microphone one-by-one to thank the audience for coming at the end of the school play. When it was Caleb’s turn, a teacher grabs the microphone from the stand.
Caleb exclaims, “Oh no!” as the teacher took the microphone away, leaving the tearful boy to stand in his turkey costume alone on the stage.
Caleb’s mother, Amanda, was filming the play, and found herself brought to tears by the incident. She then posted video of the incident to social media, expressing her heartbreak and outrage over it.
“I left in tears because one teacher … grabbed the microphone from Caleb and in a mean way,” Amanda’s post reads. “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 after all. I’m sick of kids that are not considered ‘normal’ be treated the way they are.”
Comments on the post have been supportive of Caleb, who Amanda says has a mild form of autism. The online community’s response to the teacher’s behavior was swift condemnation.
The public outcry has prompted the superintendent of schools to look into the incident.
“It’s a mistake that was made. There was no malice,” Harrison County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Manchin explained. “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.”
A separate Facebook post that appears to show a copy of the program seems to bear out the superintendent’s explanation that the boy wasn’t a part of the school play.
“This is from the Thanksgiving program in question, I see no Turkey, nor a Caleb. Proof there was no malice in this. Proof the parents are lying,” the post stated.
The post has garnered plenty of support for the teacher.
Meanwhile, Caleb’s mom later shared a video of Caleb of him in what she said was the little boy finally getting to deliver his closing line, “Gobble, gobble gobble!”