A handicapped 11-year-old girl was in the news recently after she was barred from entering a museum in Savannah, Georgia because an employee was afraid her wheelchair would “get the carpets dirty.” So much for southern hospitality.
Lexi Haas, suffers from a condition called Kernicterus, a disorder that’s left her almost completely impaired physically. According to the Daily Mail, Lexi and her parents were spending the weekend in Savannah and wanted to visit to the Ships of the Sea Museum.
When they arrived, a museum employee informed Lexi’s parents that she wouldn’t be allowed to enter because her wheelchair would dirty up the carpets. Lexi’s father pointed out, and rightly so, that his shoes were just as dirty as her wheelchair. Unconvinced, the employee offered to let Lexi use one of the museum’s wheelchairs. Unfortunately, her condition requires a special wheelchair with straps to keep her upright.
Never fear, though: in a moment of insensitivity that would make even Paula Deen cringe, the staff “suggested that Lexi could sit outside and watch a video while the rest of her family walked through the exhibit.” And what kid doesn’t love watching a video?!
Her parents passed on the offer and, amazingly enough, no one got sued… or punched in the face.
The museum has since apologized to the girl and her family over how poorly the situation was handled. Lexi’s parents just want the incident to raise awareness for people with disabilities. If the comments being left behind on the museum’s Facebook page is any indicator, it definitely has.