YAMAHA ISSUED APOLOGY TO PARENT OF AUTISTIC BOY WHO WAS TURNED AWAY

Dear A.S.S. Editor

The Yamaha Music School that was in the news because one of its branch turned down a student with autism, has been forced to issue an apology. The branch, located at Plaza Singapura, had turned down the boy, with the instructor purportedly saying his wife supported his decision not to teach the boy.

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The father of the child subsequently gave his account of the unhappy episode in a Facebook post on Monday, but said that the family is not taking any action against the school on the matter. Yamaha Music has since apologised to them for what the instructor did.

The incident happened last Friday when the child, 12-year-old Alex Lim, turned up for his second lesson to play the flute. There was a “shock” cancellation 75 minutes before the session was due to start.The boy's father said that the teacher had refused to teach Alex because he was autistic, and that the teacher’s wife, a nurse, also told him not to do so. He said that the school’s staff member also tried to blame the boy’s grandmother for not responding to a phone call about the cancellation.

The account from Yamaha Music (Asia) was that its staff member was not aware of Alex’s condition during enrollment, and the teacher learnt of it only when Alex’s grandmother informed him personally during the first lesson. The school apologised for the communication breakdown anyway. Last night, it delivered a letter of apology in person to Mr Lim.

Yamaha is looking to take action against the teacher. Mr Lim said that the family has been offered a full refund of about S$300 for the lessons, but they may not take it.

Gary Tay

A.S.S. Contributor

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