Mum’s fury after bus passenger told her Down’s Syndrome son, 4, to ‘shut up’ and said she ‘couldn’t deal with boy’


A MUM was left furious after a bus passenger told her son with Down’s Syndrome to “shut up” while they were travelling.

Angie Theakston, 43, was mortified when the elderly woman was rude to her four-year-old boy Joey and then said: “Is he Down Syndrome? I couldn’t deal with that.”

Joey Huntley, four, was told to ‘shut up’ by an elderly woman because he was excited about getting the bus home after a day out with his mum
Mercury Press
Mum Angie shared what happened on social media because she wants to raise awareness about how people speak about children with Down’s Syndrome
Mercury Press

The mum-of-four from Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire wants to share the story so others will think before they speak.

Angie said her son had been so excited to go on a bus ride after they’d been out for the day on Saturday.

She said: “It’s something that will stay with me forever. Thankfully he’s at that age where he’s not bothered which I’m thankful for. It hurt me more than it hurt him.

“He was really excited in the bus station, he just wanted to get on any bus. When it arrived and we were in the queue he couldn’t wait to get on.

“He was babbling away and he wasn’t being naughty but was just being a bit loud because of the excitement.

“This woman turned round, looked at him and said ‘shut up’. She looked at me and said: ‘I’m not his mum so he might listen to me’.

“I felt really uncomfortable.”

This is the first time I’ve had someone talk about him right in front of me like that and that really hurt.

Angie Theakston

Angie, who works in human resources, said Joey chose to sit behind the woman and reached out to touch a bobble on her woolly hat.

She said: “He reached forward and touched it and she jumped up, then she said to the woman in front: ‘Is he Down Syndrome? I couldn’t deal with that’.

“I was gobsmacked. I could see the lady she said it to was also mortified.

“This is the first time I’ve had someone talk about him right in front of me like that and that really hurt.

Angie, who is also mum to Holly, 15, Emily, 24, and Beth, 21, and is separated from Joey’s dad Stuart Huntley, 36, set up a social media page when Joey was born to raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome and show other parents what to expect and how joyful it can be.

Angie said: “I didn’t want to point the finger or name this particular lady but I wanted to raise awareness and ask people to be mindful of what they say.

“I also wanted to say my son has got Down’s Syndrome but he is not Down’s Syndrome. It’s a condition it does not define who he is.

“Joey is an amazing, happy little boy. He keeps me on my toes. He loves everything, he loves playing with his toys and going out on a little adventure. He’s in a mainstream school and does really well.

“Everyone who knows him adores him. He’s an absolute joy.”

The youngster has also done some modelling for the Early Learning Centre having signed up with Zebedee Management.

Joey does modelling work for the Early Learning Centre – which mum Angie called ‘the proudest moment of my life’
Mercury Press

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