Cockrill apologizes for comment to mother whose daughter died

Saskatchewan’s education minister has apologized in the legislature for asking if he should give up his first-born child when speaking to a mother whose daughter had died.

Jeremy Cockrill says he used a poor choice of words in the private meeting with Taya Thomas about teachers asking for more supports for students with extra needs.

The woman’s eldest daughter, 13-year-old Mayelle, died in hospital last year after dealing with multiple medical conditions.

Thomas says when she met the minister this week to discuss negotiations with the teachers’ union, he asked her, “What do they want me to do? Give up my first-born child?”

Cockrill says he’s human and he knew he made a mistake the moment the words came out of his mouth.

Thomas says the minister’s comment was careless and he did not apologize to her during the meeting.

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