A Cicero business owner who commented online about children with special needs not needing to go to school as much as other children this fall is taking heat on social media.
Her statements also are getting national attention too, with Yahoo posting a column by an author and autism advocate.
Mary Beth Nappa of Bridegport, who owns Bella’s Bowtique in Cicero, recently started her exchange on Facebook saying she thought it was “pretty sad” special education children could go to school five days a week, when others couldn’t under the coronavirus school reopening plans.
She went on to say “the kids that are going further in life aren’t the special ed kids sorry to say but it’s the truth.”
After someone questioned her on that statement, asking if she was saying kids in special ed don’t deserve to attend school five days a week, she replied:
“ding ding ding we have a winner! Also when I say special I mean head banging, screaming, throwing fits special. My child is going a lot further in life than these children.”
Syracuse.com | The Post-Standard has reached out to Nappa for comment. Her business’ Facebook page has been removed and the phone number doesn’t appear to work.
Social media erupted, with people calling for a boycott of her business. Facebook users are reaching out to media outlets nationally, asking them to share the story.
“Bashing special Ed kids-Wow Mary Nappa shame on you!! I don’t know this woman and I sure as hell don’t want to know her. Shaming special education students. Stuff a sock in your mouth you uneducated person! Pass along,’’ said one.
Another wrote: “Please DO NOT purchase from this shop. Please. I’m not one to bash a hard earned business but I’m appalled by Mary Nappa and her horrid trashy comments about SN kids. Reading her comments made me physically ill then I bawled my eyes out. She’s silencing us #ActuallyAutistic people, all parents, as well as anyone else who dares to speak up on our kids behalfs. I’m so angry and hurt. She has deleted my comment and banned me. Instead of apologizing and making things right she is doubling down. Please report this page.”
Nappa removed her posts and her business Facebook page, but it was too late. Dozens and dozens of people had already taken screen shots of her comments and began sharing them over the weekend.
The Wild Animal Park in Chittenenago responded by kicking her and her business out its Sunday small business event.
Her comments were the subject of the Yahoo blog essay this morning by Kerry Magro, a professional speaker, author and autism advocate who is on the autism spectrum.
Magro asked why everyone can’t embrace each other and said he knows many people with disabilities who are hugely successful.
Another business with a similar name reported people posting on her page that they wouldn’t do business with her. She has posted that she is not the same business.
Elizabeth Doran covers education, suburban government and development, breaking news and more. Got a tip, comment or story idea? Contact her anytime 315-470-3012 or email firstname.lastname@example.org