In what might have been an unfortunate misunderstanding, but it had some pretty serious consequences when a substitute teacher at a Canonsburg-McMillan School District elementary school in Pennsylvania reportedly told a 5-year-old student with cancer that she could not be “pretty” were she to go bald.
Accounts of the incident do not say whether the substitute was familiar with the child’s condition, only that the child was playing with her thinning hair and that the sub was concerned about her pulling it out.
According to the mother of MaKayla Welsh, the little girl who was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, her daughter had been sitting quietly in class when the teacher chose to address the matter.
“The teacher thought she was pulling her hair out,” the mother, identified only as Nicole, told news station WXPI. “The teacher told her if she was bald, she wouldn’t be pretty.
“It did bother (MaKayla) that she was losing her hair again,” Nicole added. “It bothered her to the point she didn’t want to go to school when it was all gone.”
She was so upset, she called the school’s principal, and even the school district superintendent.
After top administrators learned what had occurred, a special video was shown to MaKayla’s whole class to help them better understand what she has been experiencing.
“When the video was done, the whole class rallied around and hugged her,” her mother revealed. “She was excited and couldn’t wait to go to school.”
To meet this very pretty young lady, watch the video below:
As for the teacher, Nicole was told only that “it’d be handled” in some manner, though the district declined to comment on personnel issues.
Nicole did, however, have some words of wisdom for the teacher: “Be careful on how you word things to children… Words can hurt a lot more than anything else. They can stick with you forever.”
It’s also a good idea to be certain that educators are informed of chronic health issues among their young charges.
If you would like to help MaKayla, please visit her GoFundMe page and consider offering a donation.
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H/T U.K. Daily Mail