Airline discriminates against teen with down syndrome, refuses to board family (VIDEO)

Nothing gets my blood boiling quite like people seriously mistreating a defenseless kid. Lucky for the kid in question, though, his parents are seeking justice this time around!

The parents of 16-year-old Bede Vanderhorst, a boy with Down Syndrome, are claiming that they were discriminated against after they were denied boarding on their American Airlines flight. They were set to go from Newark, New Jersey to Los Angeles, California, but were singled out because of their son.


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As they waited to board the plane, they were told that they would not be allowed on. Joan Vanderhorst, the mother, pulled out her cell phone and began to videotape what she believes was a violation of her son's civil rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Robert, his dad, can be seen arguing with the gate attendant who says that the teenager was labeled a flight risk.

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So why exactly did this happen? Well, American Airlines claims that Bede was "excitable, running around, and not acclimated to the environment", according to KTLA News. Of course, their claims MIGHT be more believable if he was actually rowdy, but considering that he was calmly sitting and playing with his hat in the video and that the family's flown plenty of times, I sincerely doubt it. I mean, really? Watch the video and make up your own mind, but I'm definitely siding with the parents on this one!

Do you think it was unfair for American Airlines to deny boarding to this teen with Down Syndrome? Share with us in the comments below!

Images via contri/flickr, KTLA

Topics: down syndrome  flying with kids