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Raising Special Needs Kids Raising Special Needs Kids

Diabetic Kid Kicked Out of Movie Theater for Having Candy

Posted by on Aug. 19, 2014 at 12:06 PM
  • 15 Replies

Diabetic Kid Kicked Out of Movie Theater for Having Candy

by Lisa Fogarty

As a parent and as a person, I love rules. The more rules, the better. Rules help us maintain order, keep places clean and safe, and prevent us from giving in to our wonderful, selfish desires. Rules, rules, rules!

But even a rule-abiding citizen such as myself believes we've gone completely cuckoo in the name of rules and, in the process, some of us have lost all common sense. Case in point: a diabetic teen was reportedly kicked out of a drive-in movie theater in New Jersey because he committed a cardinal sin. He was found with candy -- sweets that his parents say he needs in order to maintain his blood sugar level.

Ben Weidner, 16, suffers from Type 1 diabetes and always carries with him an EpiPen, juice box, insulin, and some candy to keep his blood sugar in check. He, some friends, and their parents decided to visit Delsea Drive-In a few weeks ago, and the teen didn't think twice about packing candy in his backpack. But when they searched his bag, movie employees reportedly refused to let Ben bring his candy with him.

Phil Weidner, Ben's understandably irate dad, says his son has celiac and many food allergies. The candy and juice aren't luxury food items, he says, they're "for his own safety."

The owner of the drive-in who, weirdly enough, is a pediatrician, says those are the rules: "No food. No drink. Bottom line." He also said their concession stand carries diabetic and celiac-friendly foods, and he used a line that may seem familiar to anyone who has ever gone to school: if he let Ben do it, everyone else will want to bring outside food in.

Perhaps he's right. But then this is what he should tell everyone else: grow the hell up -- this child has diabetes. And if anyone wants to argue with that point, well, then, let's feel sorry for them and understand they have bigger issues than candy to deal with in life. 

Parents who have sick children should be shown compassion and understanding. Rules are important because they keep people safe, and the minute you realize a rule can actually hurt a child like Ben, well, you break it and make an exception. The world isn't black and white, nor will it end if one child is allowed to munch on a Jolly Rancher while watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

More people need to use their heads when it comes to the rules they impose upon others, particularly when faced with a no-brainer like this one.

What do you think of the employees' decision to deny this teen admission because of his candy?

by on Aug. 19, 2014 at 12:06 PM
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Replies (1-10):
dawncs
by Dawn on Aug. 19, 2014 at 1:05 PM

His parents should complain to theater management over the candy. The rule is for a large amount of candy for the general public. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, reasonable accomodations need to be taken.

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Aug. 19, 2014 at 3:44 PM

 This is stupid.

letstalk747
by Joy on Aug. 19, 2014 at 9:16 PM

 stupid

Linagma03
by Gold Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 2:58 AM
Stupid.
jjamom
by Michele on Aug. 20, 2014 at 7:09 AM
Ridiculous!
mandee1503
by Amanda on Aug. 20, 2014 at 9:42 AM
How dumb.
The.Last.Rebel
by New Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 10:03 AM
2 moms liked this
Well, he wasn't kicked out, just refused entry with the candy. If they were informed the concession has safe snacks, I really don't see the problem.
darcibeisheim
by New Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM
1 mom liked this
I agree with the theater here, as much as I disagree with concession prices.

Reasonable accommodations would be to allow them to purchase candy at the concession. Or to carry a glucose medication (which are usually better than candy) such as oral glucose tablets or gel or a glucagon auto injector.

This is another case of using a disability to bend the rules to your favor. The whole thing of reasonable accommodations is to make it equal, not above and beyond.
graycalico
by Member on Aug. 20, 2014 at 4:32 PM
The theater could have used better discretion. But isn't there a healthier option than to use candy to keep his blood sugar right? (Limited experience with diabetes, sincere question). I'll assume it's probably for emergencies.

Maybe he could carry it in a little first aid pouch that had an official looking note
jjamom
by Michele on Aug. 20, 2014 at 5:43 PM
2 moms liked this
If I had life threatening food allergies (which it says he did and that he also was carrying an epi-pen) then I don't think I would go anywhere without the things that could possibly save my life, and to rely upon a drive-in movie theater to have available "safe" options probably doesn't feel very "safe" when the wrong thing (even in a tiny quantity) could kill you.

Quoting The.Last.Rebel: Well, he wasn't kicked out, just refused entry with the candy. If they were informed the concession has safe snacks, I really don't see the problem.
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