A widowed mum-of-two was left in tears when a school refused to allow her to watch her daughter’s first nativity play because she had her baby boy with her.
Gemma O’Reilly, 26, was told by a teacher that she couldn’t see her daughter Bella’s performance because she had her son Preston, 10 months, with her.
Bella’s dad Durrell Odusina, 23, passed away due to heart failure in 2014, when the tot was just two years old.
When care worker Gemma asked for an explanation, she was told that 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 mum would not see her perform as a donkey in the production.
Gemma, of King’s Norton , Birmingham, 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.”
Gemma 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.
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 Gemma 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.”
Gemma broke the news to Bella as she was changing into her donkey outfit in a classroom and Bella began to cry.
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.”