An article posted at InfoWars.com on Wednesday, September 5, 2012, reports that an American Airlines pilot refused to let a 16-year-old boy with Down Syndrome board the plane, saying the boy was “excitable and running around” and he posed a “safety risk” to himself and others.
The incident occurred at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on Sunday, September 2, 2012.
Joan and Robert Vanderhorst and their 16-year-old son Bede were in a secured area of the airport, waiting to board their plane when they were confronted by security and told the pilot didn’t want them on his plane.
The family had flown together dozens of time before and this time they had upgraded to first class seats. In her interview with KTLA News, Joan Vanderhorst says the pilot wouldn’t even allow them to board the plane yet he allowed several other families with children to pass right on through.
Mrs. Vanderhorst believes her son is a victim of discrimination and that the pilot simply didn’t want to expose other first-class passengers to a disabled individual.
“The problem is this pilot thought my son might not be like most people. He didn’t want a disabled person disturbing other passengers in first class.”
The Vanderhorsts were given seats on another flight, with a different airline, but the new seats were not in the first-class section. The family also says they faced further discrimination on the later flight when they found their seats were segregated and no one was allowed to sit within two rows of them.
American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller defended the pilot’s actions, stating “For the safety of the young man and the safety of others, American Airlines offered to book another flight for the family.”
In the accompanying video taken by Mrs. Vanderhorst, Bede is clearly visible in the background, sitting calmly in a chair and playing with his hat, while security officials explain to his parents that he won’t be allowed on the plain because he’s considered a “safety risk.”
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Donna Anderson covers Alex Jones Radio and Coast to Coast AM Radio, and you’ll also find some of her articles Alex Jones’ website, InfoWars.com. She also guest blogs around the Web. Contact her on her blog at C2CWriter.com or via email.