Boy with cerebral palsy unfairly kicked out of pool for no good reason!
It seems like every time society takes two steps forward in terms of tolerance, it then takes four enormous step backwards a little while later. Case in point? Just a few days after word broke that a Latina with down syndrome was being featured in a major advertisement (progress!), news has also spread that a boy with cerebral palsy was kicked out of a Pittsburgh pool for no good reason.
Apparently, Max Wymer and his family were enjoying a day at a public pool earlier this month when lifeguards approached his mother, Jen, to inform her that the floaties her kids were wearing were against pool rules. She took them off her daughter, but asked if she could keep them on Max since his cerebral palsy doesn't allow him to balance or walk well. What did Jen say she was told in response? "Rules are rules."
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Can you believe that?! What kind of terrible person refuses to accomodate a young boy with special needs so that he can enjoy the pool just like any other kid? I know it's a lifeguard's job to reinforce pool rules, but it seems ridiculous and extreme that they couldn't make an exception in this case.
And the story only gets worse from there. When Max's mom refused to remove his water wings, the lifeguards actually called the police! When authorities arrived, she was forced to take off the floaties and hold her son up in the pool for an hour. Then, when she tried to give herself a break and put his wings back on, the lifeguards called the police AGAIN, who returned and escorted her out of the pool.
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Seriously?! Don't these people have anything better to do than pick on an innocent kid and his family who is only trying to allow him to enjoy a nice summer? Why on Earth was it necessary for the police to be called in and for them to then escort them out of the pool as if they were criminals? The whole incident is baffling and disturbing. Since then, Max has apparently been allowed back in the pool with wings, but only after he presented a doctor's note.
Well, I'm glad that the issue was resolved in the end and that Max's mom held her own in order to stand up her son. I just hope that everyone learned a lesson and recognized that sometimes exceptions can be made. Even more importantly, I hope they realized that next time another matter like this occurs, it should be conducted quietly, gracefully-- and without police!
What do you think of the incident? Tell us in the comments below!
Image via WPIX