A woman talking into camera.

@brittyred/TikTok

‘My child is terrified to go to school’: TikTok mom of child with autism accuses principal of ‘gaslighting’

'Absolutely no accommodations for him and blaming me.'

 

Dan Latu

IRL

Published Nov 20, 2021   Updated Nov 22, 2021, 10:10 am CST

A conversation between the concerned parent of a child with autism and a school administrator has sparked controversy on TikTok.

With nearly 600,000 views, the striking video has attracted conversation about resolving issues for students with autism and meeting their needs. 

The video posted by @brittyred, who identifies as the child’s parent, is captioned “This is the principal. Notice the gaslighting and blame shifting. Absolutely no accommodations for him and blaming me.”

The video documents a speakerphone conversation between @brittyred and the principal.

“Can you then explain to me why my child is terrified to go to school in kindergarten?” the TikToker says.

https://www.tiktok.com/@brittyred/video/7032018691755642118?is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=7020913599339087365

“I can’t answer that for you, ma’am, I’ve not worked with your child,” the principal says in a statement that will be a point of contention later.

“I guess the only answer is to just pull him,” @brittyred says. 

The conversation erupts into crosstalk as the principal and @brittyred continue to speak over each other. A male voice on the call interrupts and asks the principal to let @brittyred voice her concerns.  

“I guess the only thing I can do, when this is supposed to be a disabled school, is to pull him out,” @brittyred says. “Number one, he’s not receiving services from the school, which I figured out from a child advocate—”

“What kind of services are you saying he is not receiving?” the principal says.

The TikToker says that her son has been designated an Individualized Education Program, but a teacher approached her privately saying his needs were not being met. She asserts that no one came to help her son for three months.

“That is not true, that is not accurate,” the principal says. 

“I wish you could see him in the morning how scared he is to go in these classrooms,” @brittyred responds. 

At this point, the principal acknowledges the classrooms are large and possibly exceed state maximums. She says there was an unexpected influx of kindergartners this year, leading to bigger classes. 

“So the classes are very large. I get that and for little guys who may have some sensory issues—I’m sure that’s very difficult for him,” the principal says.  

Many commenters found the principal’s defense contradictory. “‘I do not work with your child’ ‘THATS NOT TRUE I KNOW ITS NOT TRUE’ bro you just doubled back on that,” user @Tired0fdis wrote.

“She said she didn’t know your kid, then said she’s aware of his extra needs…” @Angellisdaknyx added.

Other commenters found it problematic that the principal didn’t listen to the student’s mother.

“The fact that she keeps talking over you is absolutely infuriating,” @Modest.mosie commented. User @Stl.canadian added, “She’s defending & not listening.” 

In a follow-up video, @brittyred said she would be removing her son from the school.

https://www.tiktok.com/@brittyred/video/7032124266267135237?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

“His last day is tomorrow on Friday,” she says in the video posted on Thursday. “He will be starting a private school on Monday.” She also states that she used to serve as a substitute teacher at the school but, because of her experience, asked to be removed from the list of available help.

@brittyred did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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*First Published: Nov 20, 2021, 1:51 am CST