A widowed mother-of-two was left in tears when a school refused to allow her to watch her daughter’s first nativity play because she had was carrying her baby boy.
Gemma O’Reilly, 26, from King’s Norton in Birmingham, was told by a teacher she couldn’t see her daughter Bella starring as a donkey in the performance because she was with her son Preston, who is 10 months old.
Bella’s father Durrell Odusina, 23, passed away due to heart failure in 2014, when she was just two.
Gemma O’Reilly, 26, from King’s Norton in Birmingham, was told by a teacher she couldn’t see her daughter Bella(right) starring as a donkey in the play. Pictured left: Gemma with Bella, who is holding Preston
When Ms O’Reilly, a care worker, asked for an explanation, she was told Broadmeadow Infant School did not allow children to attend the nativity play.
She broke the news to Bella, five, who burst into tears when she realised her mother would not see her performance.
Ms O’Reilly said: ‘I cried myself. I’ve never missed anything my children do.
‘I’m her only parent as her dad isn’t around anymore. I try my best to get to everything. This is the first thing I’ve missed and that’s why I cried.’
Ms O’Reilly arrived at the school to watch the play on Tuesday at 9am with Preston in her arms as her babysitter had dropped out at the last moment.
Bella’s father Durrell Odusina, 23, passed away due to heart failure in 2014, when Bella(pictured) was just two
She said: ‘My babysitter told me that his day job had asked him to come in so he couldn’t watch Preston.’
But as she walked into the school hall, a teacher stopped her and told her she wouldn’t be allowed to watch the play with Preston.
She recalled: ‘The teacher on the door told me that children weren’t allowed in.
‘I pleaded with her and explained this was the only day I could do due to my job and that my babysitter had cancelled on me.
‘I asked her to make an exception but she put her arms across the door and said: “No children, I’m making no exceptions”.’
When Ms O’Reilly asked for tickets for another day so her mother could watch Bella, she was told there were none left.
She claimed: ‘They told me, ‘There are none left’. When I asked for an explanation as to why kids couldn’t watch the play, they just said it was school policy.’
Ms O’Reilly broke the news to Bella as she was changing into her donkey outfit in a classroom and Bella began to cry.
Ms O’Reilly broke the news to Bella as she was changing into her donkey outfit in a classroom and Bella began to cry. Pictured: Bella, Preston and Gemma
She added: ‘She couldn’t stop crying. She had been so excited about me seeing the play. She’d spent hours practising at home.
‘I just can’t believe a primary school would behave like this at Christmas.’
A spokesman for the school said: ‘A policy that no babies and toddlers attend the Christmas nativity play has been in place for eight years.
‘This is due to capacity and not disrupting the children performing. There have been no problems with this policy before.’
A spokesman for Broadmeadow Infant and Nursery School said: ‘A policy that no babies and toddlers attend the Christmas nativity play has been in place for eight years’