The mother of a five-year-old cancer survivor has slammed a substitute teacher who shamed the little girl in front of her classmates.
Ma'Kayla Welsh was diagnosed with leukaemia nearly two years ago and underwent chemotherapy. Although the youngster is now in remission, her hair has started to fall out, something that she feels desperately self-conscious about.
"It did bother her that she was losing her hair again. It bothered her to the point she didn't want to go to school when it was all gone," Ma'Kayla's mother, Nicole Welsh told XPXI.
But, when a substitute teacher noticed Ma'Kayla playing with her hair during class she wrongly assumed that that five-year-old was deliberately pulling out her hair.
The teacher responded by shaming the US school girl in front of the class at Wylandville Elementary School in Pennsylvania.
"The teacher told her if she was bald, she wouldn't be pretty," said Welsh.
Walsh was furious when she found out and immediately called the school's principal and superintendent, who told her the teacher's comment was unacceptable.
"They just told me it'd be handled and promised she'd never go through anything like that again," Welsh said.
Welsh told the media that the school dealt with the situation swiftly and to ensure that staff and students were better educated about Ma'Kayla's hair loss they showed a video to explain what she was going through.
"When the video was done, the whole class rallied around and hugged her. She was excited and couldn't wait to go to school," said Welsh.
Now Welsh has got a message for the substitute teacher and others working with children.
"Be careful on how you word things to children… Words can hurt a lot more than anything else," she said.
"They can stick with you forever."