School bans blind girl from using walking cane because it might trip others
Lily-Grace Hooper was rendered virtually blind after suffering from a stroke at just four days old. Now, the 7-year-old girl from Bristol has been banned from using her walking cane in school.
Hambrook Primary School claims the cane is a "health and safety" risk. The school reportedly banned Lily's cane because it could potentially trip teachers and other students.
According to a report commissioned by the school, Lily-Grace's cane poses a "high risk" to those around her. The report advises that the youngster rely on full adult support "100 per cent" of the time.
Needless to say, Lily-Grace and her family are not happy with the decision.
"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," her mother, Kristy Hooper, told The Bristol Post.
In fact, the 7-year-old's mother is furious about it. Hooper is worried that having her daughter be dependent will set her apart from other students.
Hooper said her daughter had been stumbling getting around before being given a cane last year. Since then, it has become "an extension of her daughter's arm." The girl had been using it at school since April and had no problems with it.
Even the head of the Health and Public Safety sector team, Geoff Cox, seemed baffled by the decision.
"There is nothing in health and safety regulations that would ban a child using a walking stick in school - or anywhere else for that matter ... In cases like these people need to sit down and work out sensible and proportionate arrangements that will work in practice. I hope common sense prevails here," Cox said.
The school's head teacher, Jo Dent said Hambrook was open to discussing the issue with Lily-Grace's parents, and dismissed notions that they banned the girl from bringing her cane.
"We are very keen to resolve this issue as soon as possible and have been actively seeking to engage with the parent to bring this to an agreeable conclusion," Dent said.
Watch below to learn how vibrating canes can help blind people:
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