A Sunshine Coast school has been forced to backflip on a ban that would have prevented the parents of an autistic student from attending an awards ceremony.

Sunshine Coast father, Patrick, said his 14-year-old autistic son had received an award for outstanding academic achievement but both parents were prohibited from attending the Noosa District State High ceremony because of COVID-19 rules, on Paul Murray Live.

Late today, the school overturned the ban, announcing it would allow just 50 of the 130 parents to attend.

"My son who is a special-needs child has put up with a year from hell with bullying and garbage from other students," Patrick said before the changes to the ban were announced.

"Then we get told last week he's been awarded an award for outstanding academic achievement.

"As a parent of a special needs child that is a rare moment of life and we're not even allowed to go and see it be awarded."

The emotional father said the Palaszczuk Government appeared to "reward people with money" while treating the average person like a "mushroom".

"Even one of us, my wife or I, couldn't even stand up the back with a mask on, and yet they're able to do things like have people at the Suncorp stadium, have 50,000 shoulder-to-shoulder, or the Gabba, 30,000 shoulder-to-shoulder … it doesn't make sense."

An Education Department spokesman said the school would be unable to accommodate about 670 Year 7 to 9 students and supervising staff, and all of the parents of the 135 award winners at the ceremony in the school hall "while maintaining adequate social distancing requirements".

"At this time up to approximately 50 parents will be able to attend while maintaining safe social distancing under the school's COVID safe plan," he said.

"Priority will be given to year 9 parents in the first instance and we encourage any parent who wishes to attend to contact the school."

Originally published as Dad slams hypocrisy after ban from autistic son's school awards



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