Kent

Kent council probe into 'disabled children mockery'

Disabled children pictures
Image caption The council is investigating allegations the pictures were displayed on an office wall

An investigation is being carried out into allegations that council staff mocked disabled children, calling them offensive names.

Kent County Council (KCC) said a member of staff had been suspended while a disciplinary hearing took place.

The allegations centre on the school transport office, where staff are said to have pinned on the wall pictures of children who looked different.

KCC said: "The county council totally condemns any such behaviour."

A photo taken of an office wall with pictures of disabled children pinned to it is being investigated by the council.

It is believed pictures were sent to the office at Kings Hill, West Malling, by parents applying for school bus passes.

'Particularly difficult'

Scope, the charity for disabled people, said it could not comment on the KCC case while the investigation was being carried out but it was not unusual to hear about such incidents.

"We work with disabled people and their families across the country and they tell (about) this low level but really quite unpleasant harassment and abuse," said spokeswoman Alexandra O'Dwyer.

"For individuals trying to go about their lives and be exactly the same as everybody else it is one of the things that makes life particularly difficult."

KCC said in a statement it expected the highest standards of professional conduct from all staff.

"Accordingly, these allegations are being dealt with very urgently and the member of staff involved in this issue has been suspended while a disciplinary hearing takes place in accordance with county council procedures," it added.

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