An Oklahoma girl whose leg was amputated at birth was ordered off a water slide because an attendant feared her prosthetic leg would damage the ride. Averie Mitchell and her parents waited in line Saturday for the slide at Frontier City’s Wild West Water Works before the lead attendant told the 8-year-old she couldn’t ride on it, reported KFOR-TV.
“We were getting ready to go down the slide and the attendant stepped in front of the slide and told Averie, ‘You can’t go down,’” said her mother, Kim Mitchell. “I was angry, I was upset, (and) my child was crying. She thought she had done something wrong.”
The attendant told the family he feared the girl’s prosthetic leg would scratch the slide, but her father said the explanation was insufficient.
“I think they absolutely discriminated against her, given the reason that it could scratch their slide,” John Mitchell said. “People wear bracelets, watches, rings.”
The family said they were humiliated as they were escorted by security to the front of the park, where they met with a manager. They said the manager told them that company policy prohibited prosthetics on the park’s water slides, but the family said that wasn’t announced on any signs or online.
“Put it out there so other kids — or whoever, you know — they’re not on top of the slide getting ready to start their day of fun at the water park when they’re told, ‘Sorry, you’ve got to leave,’” John Mitchell said.
The water park’s management issued a statement Monday saying that they planned to make their prohibitions against prosthetics and limb braces — which they said were based on industry standards — more clear.
The park issued a full refund to the Mitchell family.