Jenny Skelton, mother of 19-year-old adoptive daughter Charlie, has published a Facebook post explaining how a bartender at a Mash Turn nightclub in Brighton forced her daughter to leave because of her disability.
The post has been shared more than 1,000 times on the social media site, reports Huffington Post.
Charlie suffers from chromosome abnormalities, which prevents her from doing many daily activities including being able to read and write.
Her mother cited the incident as an act of discrimination. Her Facebook post was an open letter to Mash Turn.
“Last night, a good friend offered to take Charlie and me out for a meal. After the meal, at 9.30pm, we were walking back to the disabled space where I had parked the car when we heard some music coming from the Mash Tun,” Skelton writes.
“As it was a beautiful evening and it looked like a nice atmosphere, we decided to end the night by sitting outside the pub with a drink. I always carry Charlie’s passport with me because she doesn’t look nearly 20 and I showed it to the doorman.
“We then ordered our drinks at the bar. There was only one other customer in the pub as everyone else was sitting outside on the benches.
“As we were being served, I suddenly noticed that Charlie was crouching quietly (ie. not making a sound) on the floor with her hands over her ears. I was surprised as it is not something I have seen her do before and she said it was because a sudden burst of loud music had startled her.
“As I was telling her to stand up, the barman (who said he was the licensee) said she would have to leave. I was shocked and explained that she was disabled, that the music had temporarily scared her but that she was okay now.
“He insisted that she would have to leave because he couldn’t have someone doing that in a pub. He said it was Pride weekend and he had had to throw out at least three people an hour.”
At that point, Skelton invoked the Equality Act, telling the barman what he was doing was not right.
“I explained about her chromosome abnormalities and asked if he would discriminate against someone in a wheelchair. He said of course he wouldn’t.
“I said there is no difference between discriminating against a physical or a mental disability. I said that she had only been crouched down for a couple of seconds and that no one had even seen, that she had not been in anyone’s way (as I said, the pub was empty, no one had complained or even seen and she is tiny - she weighs under five stone and is only 4 feet 8 inches tall) and that she wouldn’t do it again.”
The barman was adamant they leave the bar.
Skelton’s post outlines how distraught Charlie was after the incident, still crying about it the following morning.
“She keeps saying that everyone hates her, that everything is her fault, that she wants to die and that she wishes she wasn’t disabled. It is heartbreaking and totally unjust,” writes her mother.
Soon after the post went viral, Mash Turn’s General Manager, Aaron Williams reached out to Skelton and her daughter to apologise.
He said, “I’ve investigated what went wrong and am reviewing my disability awareness training to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“Above all, Charlie – we’re sorry, we’re learning and you’re always welcome.”