Video: Mum of autistic boy subjected to tirade of abuse by Belfast teacher praises public
The mother of an autistic boy heard being screamed at by staff in his school has praised the massive outpouring of support she has received since going public with the secret recording.
Earlier this month, north Belfast mum Lisa Marie Quinn posted a recording of her son Aodhan, then aged five, enduring a tirade of verbal abuse from an adult while he was attending St Teresa's Primary School on Glen Road. The social media post immediately went viral.
More than 13,000 comments were posted from listeners shocked by what they heard.
At the time, Lisa Marie (29) described on her Facebook page the circumstances which had compelled her to make and release the recording of what her son was going through - and to set up her online campaign called 'Justice for Aodhan'.
"Aodhan is my six-year-old autistic son who was a joyful, loving and carefree child," she said.
"Like any six-year-old, he presents his challenges and his autism can cause additional difficulties, but he has brought so much love and joy to our lives and we wouldn't change him in any way.
"Unfortunately, he became more and more upset and distressed at having to go to school every day.
"As his distress levels continued to escalate, we resorted to sending him into school for the day with a recording device in his bag.
"The outcome of this was horrifying and we immediately lodged a complaint and removed Aodhan from the school. But after six weeks we were getting nowhere despite reassurances from the school board."
Last night, the north Belfast mum updated her Justice for Aodhan Facebook page to thank the campaign's supporters.
Lisa Marie said she couldn't reply personally to the thousands of messages of support she'd received, but added: "As a family we want to thank you all for your support and we promise that we will do what we can to ensure justice for Aodhan.
"Hopefully highlighting this case will ensure no other child is put through what Aodhan was put through."
After the recording was published on Facebook, the Catholic Council for Maintained School (CCMS) and the Education Authority said they were aware of the issue at the school.
At the time, the CCMS said: "CCMS is aware of the complaint from a parent of a child against some staff in St Teresa's Primary School and is assisting the board of governors in implementing the appropriate procedures and processes to address the matter."
An Education Authority spokesperson said: "The Education Authority has been working with CCMS in relation to a complaint in a school.
"As an investigation is under way and due to the nature of the complaint, it would be inappropriate to comment further."
As the official probe continues, Lisa Marie revealed that Aodhan, who is now six, is blossoming at his new school.
"He's doing brilliant. He's a wee chatterbox now," she said.