Boy With Cerebral Palsy Kicked Out of Pool By Police Over Water WingsMonica Bielanko
“Rules are rules.”
That’s what one Pennsylvania mom was told when her son, who has cerebral palsy, was kicked out of a pool in Pittsburgh because he was wearing water wings.
Here we go again. Half the inane stories I write about have to do with lamebrain people with a tiny bit of authority shouting about “policy” and “rules” and not stopping to think for just two damn seconds.
As Huffington Post reports (based on a story from wpxi.com) Jen Wymer and her kids were wearing their water wings at a public pool on Monday. Lifeguards told her water wings are against the rules so she took them off her daughter but asked to keep them on for Max.
“I went up to the lifeguard and said, ‘My son has cerebral palsy. He doesn’t walk well and has poor balance. Could he keep the floaties on?'”
That’s when she got the old “Rules are rules” response. But GOD BLESS THIS MOM, she refused to take those bad boy water wings off and the pool people called the police.
After the cops, another bunch of lunkheads, apparently, forced her to put them on she waded around in the pool holding up Max for an hour… and then put them back on. The police were called again and she was escorted out of the pool.
I am seething over this. SEETHING. What is wrong with people. Yeah, I get it, the water wings are against the rules because they give kids and parents a false sense of security but this is a special needs kid. This family obviously doesn’t fall under that category.
And even if the lifeguards at the pool were just doing their job, couldn’t they cut Wymer some slack this time, at least? As Ellen Seidmen over at Huffington Post asks, “Couldn’t they have told the mom, ‘Just this once, but next time we can’t allow it'”?
Rules are meant for our safety, I understand, but there are also exceptions to every rule. As Seidman so eloquently points out about raising a child with special needs, “We want our kids to fit in with other kids and be treated as equals. We want special treatment for them, too.”
I should add that the pool decided to allow Max to wear the wings after all the hullabaloo on the internet AND Wymer got a doctor’s note, but I think that’s too little to late. What a horrifying thing to have to go through over water wings for your little guy suffering from cerebral palsy.
You can watch my new hero, Jen Wymer, tell her story to WXPI below:
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You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.