A Christian summer camp allegedly denied an autistic child the opportunity to take part in their program.
Kaleb Cassidy, 5, had hoped to go to the summer adventure club at the New Hope Christian Academy in Circleville, Ohio, NBC 4 News reports. However, days after his mother, Kassie Cassidy, signed him up, she received a phone call informing her that the kindergartener could not attend the camp.
According to her, it was because of his autism.
“I want to fight for my child,” the mother told NBC 4. “They didn’t even give a chance for him to see him in person.
“They judged him by his diagnosis and by the words on the IEP and I don’t think that’s fair," she said. "They should have at least reached out and said ‘We feel uncomfortable about this. We have never experienced this before,’ especially if it’s a Christian organization.”
According to Kassie, the organization was allegedly concerned for Kaleb’s safety.
Officials at the school have yet to comment on the incident, though they did contact Kassie to set up a meeting with the family.
Upon hearing the story, many took to Facebook to voice their concerns with the issue.
“It’s better that they have apprehension about properly caring for him than blindly ‘tossing him into the mix’ to see if it works out,” commented one user. “If they can’t meet his needs in the fall we would be reading about a lawsuit concerning an autistic child who wasn’t taken care of at a summer camp.”
“Shame on you guys,” said another user, “this boy should have the same opportunitys [sic] just like every other child …”
Photo Credit: NBC4