By: Krystle Crossman
The mother of a special education student at Wangaretta District Specialist School is distraught about an incident involving her daughter. Their daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD and has microcephaly which is a neurological condition that causes developmental delays. Melissa Woods said that her daughter Taylah, 14, came home crying because the teacher had shaved her armpits in front of the entire class as part of a health lesson even though she didn’t want it.
Mrs. Woods wants answers as to why this was allowed to happen at the school. The teacher, who has remained unidentified, said that it was a part of the curriculum for the personal care health class. The principal states that the teacher had asked Taylah and only continued with the lesson after Taylah said that it was okay. Mrs. Woods is not happy about that statement as her daughter has the developmental delays. She says that she feels that the teacher took advantage of her daughter and her rights. No one had ever asked her parents if this was okay.
Melissa and Taylah’s father Allan filed a complaint with the Education Department. The school’s principal maintained that this was a part of the lesson on personal health but also said that she was concerned about the fact that no one had sent a permission slip home to the parents. They had sent out a letter about the health class stating that the lesson would include different things such as learning about menstruation and shaving. The Woods thought that they would just be talking about shaving, not actually doing it in the classroom.
A staff member in the class stated that Taylah was having troubles reaching and applying the correct pressure to be able to shave correctly and they asked if she wanted help. They still maintain that she did not feel uncomfortable at any point. They stated that permission slips will be sure to go home from now on.