Special needs child discriminated aga...

Special needs child discriminated against by local business

Posted in the Morristown Forum

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madmom

Strawberry Plains, TN

#1 Nov 24, 2008
I came into Summit Martial Arts to check on a program for my daughter (who happens to have Down Syndrome) I ask a young lady for information and she ask me "for which child?" I expressed it was for my oldest daughter. She handed me the information and then I was told that they were not equipped for her, as the employee pointed to my daughter who has Down Syndrome. To make matters worse the employee Savannah said for me to take information for my other daughter.(who does not have down syndrome). If they think that I would bring one child and not the other they are mistaken . After walking outside the doors into the mall my daughter asked "Can I do it mommy?" I should not have to explain to an eight year old that she isn't accepted because she has Down Syndrome.
the last time I checked my daughter has eyes to see with, ears to hear with,a mouth to speak from, a botton to sit on, legs to stand on, and feelings that do get hurt. Does this make her any different than any other child that has ever came into Summit Martial Arts? While she has some challanges she has yet to meet, it is people like this that hold her back from being accepted throughout the community. I found this to be very hurtful, that they would discriminate against a child because her face may look different than everyone elses. I believe that the personnel at Summit ATA are ill informed and ignorant. Chlidren with special needs are human too they have self-determination, Confidence, and integrity and want to be treated with honesty, courtesy and respect just like the rest of us.
I see on their website where it states.
Imagine a world where...

·Obesity is a thing of the past (Well how about discrimation isn't it in the past, too?)


·Honesty and Integrity are the norm (What about sinecerty and empthay?)


·Discipline, Respect and Courtesy are a way of life (does this mean as long as you "normal"?)


·People feel good about themselves and are accepted for who they are (But only if your face looks like everone else)


·Confidence and a sense of self-determination guide one through Life (as long as as you don't have specail needs?)

After thinking about this after I got home I called back and asked to speak with Savannah She said that I must have misunderstood what she was saying ( If what she had said earlier wasn't bad enough) she then said "that my mom (the owner)does not allow children LIKE THAT to come here." If this is true, God have mercy on them. At the end of our conversation, once she realized how upset I was she invited my daughter to come in tomorrow and try it out. Do they honestly believe that I would take my child to a place that would discriminate against her being herself. Which is a pretty awesome kid in my book and many other that have actully taken the time to get to know her.

I am shocked that people in this day and time are still so judgemental.
Little Mama

Morristown, TN

#2 Nov 24, 2008
you definitely have every right to be upset! I would be too! I can't believe the ignorance of some people. It's truly amazing.

If your daughter is interested in karate, maybe there's another one she could try. I hear good things about Red Dragon. There are a lot of kids that go there. I do hear that the one in Jeff City is a little better for kids b/c the female instructor is a lot nicer than the male one M'town. On the flip side, I know someone who takes her child to M'town b/c she wants him to have more strict discipline. Only bad thing I've hear about the place is that it's a bit pricey. I don't know if it's more than the others, but if the girl instructor is good at getting kids involved, improving coordination, and core strenghtening, then I'd be interested in it.
angered

Morristown, TN

#3 Nov 24, 2008
way to go mad mom. Do not sit back and take this kind of treatment for yourself or your daughter. Go kick some butt on this one. Maybe they are afraid that if they learn your daughter martial arts, That she will kick their butts for discrimination

“What does this button do?”

Since: Oct 08

Location hidden

#4 Nov 24, 2008
Don't let one persons insensitive short visions misguide you. They are not the only place your child can participate in activities she might enjoy. Seek and you shall find. Luck to you !!
What the _________

Morristown, TN

#5 Nov 25, 2008
I cannot believe that this happened to you. Call Don Dare channel 6 news!
wow

Morristown, TN

#6 Nov 25, 2008
Wake up people you can't catch down syndrome. It's not contageous. These people should be ashamed of themselves. Do they discriminate against children with autism too? My son has autism and you would never be able to tell if anything is wrong with him. Would they accept him just because he doesn't have any obvious facial features of a particular disability? I'm curious. This is discrimination and they can get in serious trouble for this. And if anyone from this certain karate place is reading the forum you should know that I will be telling everyone I know not to take lessons from you. You will have a ruined reputation by the end of this. Children with disabilities can't help it. It's no one's fault and it's not fair to them to be treated like they have leprocy or something.

“Opinionated & Outspoken”

Since: Dec 06

Rogersville TN

#7 Nov 25, 2008
I would take it not only to the local news but to a local attorney.
Very Upset

Tellico Plains, TN

#8 Nov 25, 2008
All children and Adults are equals. There are some that may have a few more special needs than others. A Down Syndrome child can learn anything. She would be an assest to any class. This makes me so angry I can't hardly think !!The way all small business's is struggling one would think that no one in their right mind would turn down a sale. These people are totally not in their right mind. This is the 21st century. People needs to stop being so ignorant. Even my mother was looked down on when she was in a wheelchair the last several years of her life. People and even nurses would look at me and ask me questions about her that she could answer. Just becasue her legs didn't work very well it did'nt mean she could not speak or didn't have a brain. This would make me furious. Many people got told off in a kind way.
Sweetheart rip this place apart. Everyone is see will hear about this. I have sources. I'm checking into this. I know they are struggling. Any merchant in this mall is struggling to stay
afloat. I hope this shuts them down. They know better!!!!!!!!
Whuteva

Atlanta, GA

#9 Nov 25, 2008
I understand the frustration - and I am NOT making excuses for them by no means - BUT, consider that they just might be protecting your daughter. Knowing that her strength level and response time might not be as quick or aggressive as others - she could be injured. If you want her in Martial Arts - establish a class for children with like handicaps and adapt the program to them. Stop Complaining and Make a Difference!!!
Whuteva

Atlanta, GA

#10 Nov 25, 2008
And before you go off about my response - I was the stepmother of a Down Syndrome child myself. She was very active - in Special Olympics and other programs that suited her disability. BEEN THERE - DONE THAT!

Since: Nov 08

Richmond, KY

#11 Nov 25, 2008
Little Mama wrote:
you definitely have every right to be upset! I would be too! I can't believe the ignorance of some people. It's truly amazing.
Absolutely agree 100% Just because she has down syndrome doesn't mean she can't follow direction, learn or be a part of the group.

This breaks my heart that she had to be subjected to this kind of treatment and that there are people out there that act in this way. I would not take my children there AT ALL. Hopefully you can find a suitable place that will provide both your daughters with a healthy, fun and inviting environment for your daughters.

“Most Dangerous Man In America”

Since: Nov 08

Jefferson City, TN

#12 Nov 25, 2008
MADMOM, amazing post!

People with physical or learning disabilities have not only to deal with a disability but the social and environmental barriers which can prevent them playing a full part in the community.

your child has every right to enjoy the things in life that all other children enjoy.

i wish for nothing but the best for you and your daughter.
Realist

Morristown, TN

#13 Nov 25, 2008
The fact of life is that we all have shortcomings in some areas, maybe not handicaps but there are just some things we are not equipped to do naturally.My question to you as the mother of this child, why would you not realize that this would not be a good atmosphere for your child and that the child could get injured by participating in such activities. I would more question your ability as a parent than the reason that they would not encourage your child in this.You're the one being cruel to the child by suggesting something that any parent would avoid if they were at all responsible in this case.
My2cents

Knoxville, TN

#14 Nov 25, 2008
Madmom,

I am sorry to hear about the treatment that both you and your daughters endured. No one has pointed this out yet, but your oldest daughter is covered under the ADA (The Americans with Disabilities Act). The ADA provides a means for legal recourse for such actions that you have experienced. Summit Martial Arts has opened themselves up to a scrupulous federal investigation, not to mention hefty fines if the investigation finds them guilty. They are a public identity and therefore must comply with the guidelines and laws of the ADA. I highly suggest that you contact the ADA immediately. You can go to their website at: http://www.ada.gov/
to find contact information.
Nettlaw

Conyers, GA

#15 Nov 25, 2008
In response to madmom:

I have a daughter that was born with a disability in her left arm where she can not do a palms up like we can, her arm is fused at the elbow. When I went to sign her up for teeball and then coach pitch ball and I had to let them know of any kind of condition that she may have and I put that she had this issue, they changed immediately after I said that and asked me 100 times are you sure she can do this? I told them, that she new her limitations, she was born with it and if she thought she couldn't do it, she wouldn't do it. Well my daughter was the most improved hitter of the year and was knocking them in the outfield in the last 6 games we had, so that goes to show, kids can do what there body will allow them to do and what people will let them try. So I understand how you feel and I think it is a shame that someone would say that! I had thought about putting my daughter is something like that so she could defend herself, but that makes me think twice about it, because when they say that to me, they would have to worry about defending themselves from one furious mother.
madmom

Strawberry Plains, TN

#16 Nov 25, 2008
Realist wrote:
My question to you as the mother of this child, why would you not realize that this would not be a good atmosphere for your child and that the child could get injured by participating in such activities. I would more question your ability as a parent than the reason that they would not encourage your child in this.You're the one being cruel to the child by suggesting something that any parent would avoid if they were at all responsible in this case.
Did I state in my comment that I suggested Martial Arts? NO! My child had been asking to participate in this several times over the past 6 months or so. I see nothing wrong with allowing my children to express who they are by trying new things. Any child can get injured by riding a bike, going skating, or playing hopscotch, are you suggesting that I don't allow her to do those things either. I feel like it would make me a "cruel parent" if I did not allow her to participate in things that she feels that she would enjoy.

“Archangel By the Cross”

Since: Sep 08

Knoxville

#17 Nov 25, 2008
madmom wrote:
<quoted text>
Did I state in my comment that I suggested Martial Arts? NO! My child had been asking to participate in this several times over the past 6 months or so. I see nothing wrong with allowing my children to express who they are by trying new things. Any child can get injured by riding a bike, going skating, or playing hopscotch, are you suggesting that I don't allow her to do those things either. I feel like it would make me a "cruel parent" if I did not allow her to participate in things that she feels that she would enjoy.
This reminds me of the end of "Little Miss Sunshine". To participate or not participate? I say you should have her participate.

Everyone has to seek their calling in life. Trial and error is the only way. She will eventually find a niche.

I wish your daughter could get into a similar class that doesn't descriminate. It would be great if she was all to kick all their asses and be the best student in the class.

“Opinionated & Outspoken”

Since: Dec 06

Rogersville TN

#18 Nov 25, 2008
I think her mother is aware of her limitations and would know best whether or not this is something her child is equipped to do. I have five children each of them different. Some of them would excel at martial arts while a few of them can't walk and chew gum but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't have fun taking the class it just means that the might not excel at it.

I took kung fu and one of my classmates was an vet who was an amputee. Her leg was amputated below the knee and she was one of the best in our class.

I dropped out of class when I got pregnant and have not returned but she was getting ready to test for her black belt when I left so I am sure she has achieved that and much more since I left the class. She got no special treatment she neither wanted nor needed it. She also ran a farm, rode horses and didn't let anything hold her back as far as I could tell. She was amazing and an inspiration.

I believe that if the karate school had told madmom that her child was welcome and they would work with her the best that they could within her limitations she would have been fine with that. I bet if they had told her they couldn't accept her for some other legitimate reason.. perhaps for insurance reasons or something she probably would have be disappointed but not nearly as pissed off.

I agree you need to contact the ADA madmom. Good luck. Don't let people put limitations on your child continue to teach her that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

There are many individuals today and throughout history who had disabilities that they overcame to achieve amazing things.
Gigi

Redmond, WA

#19 Nov 25, 2008
Realist wrote:
The fact of life is that we all have shortcomings in some areas, maybe not handicaps but there are just some things we are not equipped to do naturally.My question to you as the mother of this child, why would you not realize that this would not be a good atmosphere for your child and that the child could get injured by participating in such activities. I would more question your ability as a parent than the reason that they would not encourage your child in this.You're the one being cruel to the child by suggesting something that any parent would avoid if they were at all responsible in this case.
I know the child. She's no more likely to get injured doing this than any other child would be. I question your ability to judge others. My question to you as an intelligent being is this: why are you stuck in the dark ages thinking that special needs children aren't capable of living good, full lives and pursuing their interests like everyone else? This parent is the most protective mother I've ever met, and she would never allow either of her children to do anything she didn't think they could do. How dare you call her cruel for loving and supporting her children and trying to offer them every opportunity to grow and express themselves as human beings! Apparently, you don't know a thing about being a responsible parent yourself. Her responsibility is to nurture her children, and help them grow strong in every way so that they are prepared for life. With special needs children, this means teaching kids to not let obstacles keep them from succeeding when they want to go forward. This child can do whatever she puts her mind to, and NO ONE has the right to tell her she can't. She deserves every chance any other child has. So what if it takes her a bit longer to get there? Each milestone only makes the journey sweeter.
C0ach

Dallas, GA

#20 Nov 25, 2008
That small business owner missed an excellent marketing opportunity. Inclusion attracts other people.

Those people should be ashamed.

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