Things That Matter

Mother Rejects Pizza Hut’s Apology After Her Special Needs Daughter Was Told to “Hurry Up” and Leave the Restaurant to Make Way for “Regular Customers”

Just when we think the world is making progress accepting people with special needs as human beings who are no different than anyone else, someone pulls off an eye-rolling stunt that makes you worry about the future of humanity. What should’ve been a fun and carefree trip for a group of students turned into an embarrassing day that was memorable for all the wrong reasons. 

According to a Facebook post written by concerned mother, Heather Bensch, a group of special needs children were told to “hurry up” by local Pizza Hut staff in Ripley, Tennessee before “regular people” came into the restaurant.

Image via @clickysound/Twitter

According to Bensch, her 18-year-old daughter, McKaela, was visiting the local Pizza Hut with about 20 other children from her special needs class at Halls High School. Bensch told NBC News that the school had made a reservation ahead of time explaining that this “particular group was coming by”. According to Bensch, this meant that there was no “misunderstanding” on the restaurant’s part as to who the children were. 

Although Bensch wasn’t there, a teacher who was present relayed the details to the parents. The teacher also explained that the group was forced to get their own refills, clean their own tables, and were relegated to using paper plates. 

Infuriated, Bensch took to Facebook to explain the situation and vent her frustration. 

“These kids could teach you a little something about work ethic, compassion, and humanity!!!!” she wrote in a fuming Facebook post that addressed the Pizza Hut staff directly. “Any one of them would go out of their way, even out of their own comfort zones, to help someone else, or just to make them happy. They are all the most sweetest, selfless, and special people that I know, and still expect nothing in return. For them to be treated any less, is not only unacceptable, but heartless!!!!”.

Image via Facebook/Heather Bensch

Users flooded Bensch’s Facebook post with statements of disappointment and shock over the terrible way these students were treated.  “I would love to hear their definition of a ‘regular’ customer,” said one commenter. “Shame on them for being so ignorant. What an absolute disgrace”. “These kids just wanted a special day and leave it to a group of well groomed morons to ruin it,” said another. Users also suggested boycotting the restaurant. Some called to shut it down completely.

Bensch’s post quickly went viral, racking up almost 1,000 shares and over 500 comments. 

In her Facebook post, Bensch explained that “the eye rolling and attitude began the moment that the first child and teacher walked through the door”. “Since management didn’t seem to care, nor did their employees, I think it’s time that this community remind them who keeps their doors open!” she fumed via Facebook. “You know, it’s just us ‘regular’ people, who don’t need their ‘regular’ pizza anyway!”

And Bensch wasn’t the only parent that was upset over the way the children were treated. Keith Duncan, whose stepdaughter is also a part of the special needs class, told local news station WREG that after learning about the incident, he went to the restaurant to get some answers from the management. Instead, he got no response. “They could have handled that a lot better,” he told the outlet. “Just been more professional about it. Just have a little leniency for our kids.”

Bensch’s post first caught the attention of local media before catching the attention of national outlets like NBC News and People magazine

The public outcry was swift, and soon the Lauderdale County School district felt the need to address the incident, holding a meeting with teachers and administrators in order to “get all the facts about what happened”. “I don’t want the kids to think they did anything wrong because they were just in there to have a good time, eat pizza, cut up and have a great Friday,” Superintendent Shawn Kimble told WREG.

As for Pizza Hut, their corporate office released a statement to NBC News attempting to quell the damage one of their branches caused. “Our local franchisee has been in contact with the school principal and superintendent to offer our apologies to the students and teachers and will be meeting with them this week,” a Pizza Hut spokesperson said. “Restaurant management will also be reinforcing our expectations with employees at the store to ensure that our standards of service are upheld going forward.”

Bensch rejects accusations from some commentators that the situation was being “blown out of proportion”.  

“This is not the first time that a disabled group has been treated poorly at this location,” she explained to those who were defending the actions of the employees. 

And as for Pizza Hut’s apology, it wasn’t enough  to make up for the negative experience her daughter had at their restaurant.  “The apology should’ve been given right on the spot to those that were there,” she told NBC News. “As well as initial responsibility taken for what happened.”

A Pregnant Woman With Parking Violations Was Arrested And Put In Jail During The Coronavirus Pandemic

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A Pregnant Woman With Parking Violations Was Arrested And Put In Jail During The Coronavirus Pandemic

My job in Corrections / Pinterest

Diamond Davis is a Montgomery, AL-based woman who is pregnant and currently dealing with criminal charges.

On April 19, the pregnant mother-to-be was arrested and detained overnight in a prison currently battling coronavirus cases. Davis had been brought to the prison after police officers had arrested her for failing to show up for court hearings about her traffic-related violations. There were other similar charges that led to her arrest and jail detainment which a judge dismissed her from, via teleconference, after assigning her a new court date which will open up a new discussion on how she will repay the fines she owes.

While traffic-related violations are important to pay attention to, Davis’s arrest and time in prison is raising concerns among advocates calling for a chance in the climb in numbers of pregnant women “who have been put at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 because of non-violent charges by a prison system being accused of not doing enough to protect those it incarcerates,” according to Refinery29.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Davis’ case was highlighted as part of a vicious cycle targeting the disadvantaged.

According to The New York Times, Davis’ car was pulled over when police noticed that her temporary license plates had expired. After the officers stopped her they found that the 27-year-old mother-to-be was driving without a license and without car insurance. They also discovered that she had overdue court fines.

David was taken to Montgomery City Jail and told NYT that her request for a mask and gloves had been denied. She also claims that there was no hot water available for her to wash her hands.

What’s worse, one of the two women she had been made to share a cell with was coughing.

Soon after Davis’s release from the Montgomery City Jail, police reported five positive coronavirus cases.

While the cases were reported amongst the jail’s federal incarcerated community, which is reportedly kept in a separate area from people incarcerated by the city– like Davis– five cases were also reported among the jail’s nurses and correctional officers. According to NYT, “The number of positive cases has since risen to 21, Michael Briddell, the director of public information for Montgomery, said Wednesday.”

Michael Briddell, the director of public information for Montgomery, explained in an interview with NYT that early on in the pandemic, “the city took steps to release nearly all nonviolent offenders, adding that the jail held 93 detainees in the last week of April, compared with 115 detainees during the same period a year ago.” According to Briddel “only the most extreme nonviolent cases are being held,” and Davis fell under this category because she had 16 outstanding warrants.

Meanwhile, Claudia Wilner, who is the director of litigation for the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, which fights for economic justice for low-income people, “overpolicing of black communities had led to the constant issuing of tickets for traffic violations.” The underlying implication? Injustices in our criminal system are bringing people into places where they could potentially face death. Is it worth it?

Recruiter Told Oklahoma Students To Line Up By Skin Color And ‘Nappiest’ Hair

Things That Matter

Recruiter Told Oklahoma Students To Line Up By Skin Color And ‘Nappiest’ Hair

KFOR/ Twitter

There’s a lot to learn from college officials and recruiters, including how ignorant the world can be.

According to recent reports, a recruiter for an Oklahoma Christian college was fired after directing students at a high school in Oklahoma to line themselves up by the color of their skin as well as how “nappy” to “straight” their hair was.

During a visit to Harding Charter Preparatory, the unidentified white recruiter had teachers in tears.

According to KFOR-TV, the recruiter from Oklahoma Christian University went to the school last Monday and upset teachers so much that some of them were int ears.

“He was like, ‘Let’s play a little game,’” one 11th-grade student told KFOR-TV in an interview about the recruiter. “He said, ‘Okay everyone, now line up from darkest to lightest skin complexion.’ ”

According to the station, the recruiter never gave an explanation about his request and he also told students to order themselves by kinkiest hair.

“He told us nappiest hair in the back and straighter hair in the front,” another student from the high school told KFOR-TV. “Teachers left. They were crying because they were offended. It’s just horrible.”

Since the incident, the recruiter has been fired from the university.

In a statementto KFORTV, the university confirmed the firing saying “OC admissions leadership did not approve the inappropriate activity in advance and has communicated closely with Harding administration since the visit. Admissions staff are scheduled to visit the academy Monday to apologize to Harding students and staff on behalf of the University.”

In a separate statement about the incident Harding Charter Prep’s principal, Steven Stefanick called the recruiters actions “inappropriate and hurtful” and said that it left everyone “stunned and distraught. “Over the years, we have had a strong relationship with the university and have never encountered events as such,” he wrote in a Facebook statement.