Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Intolerance Abounds

The television was on this morning as I walked by to get Billy Ray’s pills. Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America was talking about a story they had done yesterday and the poll they took from viewers.

Apparently, a three year old started crying boarding an airplane. Neither of her parents were able to get her to stop. You can read the article here. Nothing was said about the little girl doing anything but crying or having special needs of any kind. The parents were instructed to make her stop and were eventually kicked off the plane because they couldn’t.

What is more shocking to me than the airlines behavior (deplorable as I find it) was the poll taken by GMA. Of 26,586 votes approximately 62% said they agreed that the family should be kicked off the plane if they couldn’t make the child quit. With this kind of intolerance is it is any wonder people with disabilities have to fight such discrimination and intolerance. What have we become as a community?

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Blogs: Amazon Author Connect, Parenting a Complex Special Needs Adult and Lighthouse Parents
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Lora said...

It is sad and despicable that this happened to this family and it is not okay with me. I do, however, have a good story to share about the airlines in which Griffin and I flew to S.C. Northwest Airlines I believe. Upon boarding the plane Griffin had a meltdown and he wouldn't get off the floor so a complete stranger, a man, helped me by picking up Griffin and carrying him to his seat. This is after I told them that he was autistic. I found that several people helped me on that very long flight especially one very special flight attendant who played with Griffin and really helped me out a lot. Good things do happen but they don't make the front page news. Just thought that I would share with you and brighten up the subject a bit. I still think that it was horrible what happened to this family and that the poll showed so many people agreed to kick them off the plane. It is a sad commentary on what the general public thinks and feels about children who may or may not have disabilites.

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Mommy & Daddy said...

I totally agree with you. This world has become so ignorant to the special needs people, handicap people in the world.

When Im out with my son, at a doctors appt and he has one of his fits the people in the waiting room look at me with such disgust and say "why dont you take him out of here" or "if you cant shut him up leave". Its so rude and they dont understand his needs and how his body is.

I just wanted to add that on there.

KC's Blog said...

Shame on the airlines! I can imagine myself with K.C. in that situation, getting kicked off, my God, I would have fell apart totally.

Anonymous said...

They asked the family to leave the flight because the little girl wouldn't get into her car seat, and her family couldn't seem to make her. It is a safety risk to fly unrestrained, and the flight couldn't take off without her being strapped in. Some 30 minutes later, and 15 minutes after the flight was set to depart, they finally made them leave. I'm sorry the family was inconvenienced, but why should a whole plane-load of people be forced to sit there because one little girl is having a tantrum? She had no special needs of any kind. I disagree with you on this one; love your blog though!

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between the safety issue of not being buckled in and the inconvenience of the noise from crying. The fact that the child would/could not get into her seat and be seat-belted is a violation of safety rules. I don't think that the rest of the passengers should have to be made exessively late because one person won't (or can't) comply. There may be others on the plane who could be compromised by being forced to wait--perhaps because of a health condition or other reason.

This question was posed as though the only factor to consider was whether other people should be inconvenienced by having to listen to a child crying for a while, but there are many other possibilities to consider.

There could be other passengers with disabilities or health conditions too. Or there may be people trying to make connecting flights for any number of critical reasons--traveling to a funeral, to take of an ill loved one, or a child...

Not to mention the idea that if the child was that upset, perhaps there was a reason for it, and it would not have been a bad idea for the family to take some time to determine the reason for it.

I have children, including one with autism, and I know travel with them can present surprises and challenges. I certainly am grateful for any assistance I may get while traveling with an anxious child, but I think that if anyone should build flexibility into their travel plans, it should be parents traveling with kids.

Peggy Lou Morgan said...

As a couple of commenters have referenced that the child wouldn't get in her seat and the plane being late that would definitely make a difference. The articles I read and the interview did not mention that as a factor only the child crying.

Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

I have heard quite a few testimonies from parents of special needs kids where this happens.

This is shameful. We need an anti-ableism policy as much as we have an anti-racism one. It doesn't get rid of prejudice, but it can begin to create and intolerance of prejudice.

Anonymous said...

My daughter, now 17, is not a normal, usual teenager, with mental retardation, even on a moderate level, it still impacts on her life, I dispair that she will always be on the out side of acceptability, she looks normal, to the majority of the public, (her eyelids droop a little, and her pupils have a habit of being off centre) Ash has speech difficalities, when she is tired, she is very hard to understand, and has to put extra effor into being verbally understood. This is becoming harder for her, even though she is out in the community, buying her own beanie kids at the local shop, going to the local youth group, all the other children that she has grown upwith, and now their siblings, are starting to look at her sideways.
It's okay, we will touch base every so often
Love your support
Janette, mum of Ashleigh

Anonymous said...

We just returned from the beach - where Carson really struggled with the change of environment. All week I felt like people were looking at him like he had 3 heads. I just wanted to shout "stop judging him - my son has autism - he's not a bad kid". I hate to feel this way - but people are just mean - so quick to judge - it just broke our hearts.