PARENTS

Dad Of Son With Asperger's Throws Sports Day In Back Garden After Teacher Suggests He Stays At Home

'I felt really let down that they would even suggest this to me.'

21/07/2017 13:50

A dad decided to take matters into own hands and throw a sports day for his son with Asperger’s, after it was suggested the boy shouldn’t take part in his school’s one.

Mark Anthony Birchall, from Liverpool, shared a Facebook status on 18 July claiming the special needs teacher at his son’s school asked if he’d prefer to keep his son home on the sports day so there weren’t “any scenes”.

Birchall wrote: “She asked me if I’d like I could keep Jacob off school until the afternoon as he may not like other children winning the races and because there are going to be parents present so didn’t want there to be any scenes and for Jacob to get upset if he didn’t win a race.”

Speaking to HuffPost UK, the dad said: “I felt really let down that they would even suggest this to me.”

The headteacher in Banks Road Primary School has since apologised for this suggestion. 

Birchall, who said his son Jacob suffers Asperger’s syndrome and struggles with social inclusion, took the morning off work to run his own sports day at home.

He went out and bought his son a medal to have at the end of the afternoon, too.

“Jacob had a lovely day in the back garden,” Birchall told HuffPost UK. “He lost a race to his pet pug Rolo and took it wonderfully well.

“But he also won a three-legged race and an egg and spoon race against me and really, really enjoyed his family sports day.”

Birchall said he has found a different school for his son to attend in September who are “very happy to take him on and grow him”.  

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, headteacher Linda Gibson said: “This was an entirely inappropriate suggestion made almost two weeks ago that neither myself nor the class teacher were made aware of until after the event.

“We have a clear policy that all of our children take part in sports day and I have taken steps to make sure this can’t happen again.

“I am really sorry for the upset this has caused and I am meeting personally with the family together with our Chair of Governors to discuss their concerns.”

HuffPost UK has contacted the school for further comment. 

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