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Lifestyle

Perspective: Protect and Serve

Mark Eschoe challenges a restaurant’s policy, which prohibits his rights as the father of a special needs child. As told to Joyce E. Davis.

My 9-year-old daughter Marley has lupus, which caused inoperable brain aneurysms. About a year ago she had a stroke and now requires daily therapy. Since she doesn’t often get the opportunity to experience regular child activities, my wife and I were happy whens he was invited to a birthday party at a kid-friendly restaurant. I was her chaperone.

While there, Marley had to use the restroom. There were guys in the men’s room, so I asked a waitress if I could take Marley to the ladies’ room. Even though it was empty, the employee needed to get approval first.

When the server’s manager came over she told us, “No! You have to use the men’s room.” By that time, Marley was growing impatient. I tried to explain that my daughter was special needs, but she said, “It doesn’t matter. I’m not going to treat her differently from any other patron. I’m done with you.” Then, she abruptly walked away.

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