A blind 7-year-old girl who is learning to get around using a walking cane has been asked by her school not to bring it in anymore out of “health and safety” concerns to her fellow students, making her mother furious.
Lily-Grace Hooper, of Bristol, England, suffered a stroke when she was four days old, leaving her blind out of one eye and only able to see lights and colors in the other, the Bristol Post reports.
She received a new fiberglass cane from a charity for blind children earlier this year, but now Hambrook Primary School is asking her not to bring it to the facility.
A risk assessment done on behalf of the school by Sensory Support Service, which describes itself as an organization aimed at “supporting children and young people with a sensory impairment,” according to its website, said the cane is a high risk for other people around her and Lily-Grace should have adult support at all times.
But her livid mother Kristy told the Bristol Post that having a helper following her daughter around will set her apart from the rest of her classmates.
“She hasn’t had any problems with any of the other students, and none of the parents have complained about it – in fact, they have all been very supportive,” she said. “When the school told me she can no longer bring her cane into school, I just thought this must be health and safety gone mad.”
The risk assessment asks Lily-Grace to use a shortened cane and the school’s head teacher, Jo Dent, said she would discuss the situation with Kristy.
“The pupil has not been banned from bringing in their cane, we have simply asked them to not use it around school as a temporary measure, until we have the chance to meet with the parent and discuss the situation,” she told the Bristol Post.