Hotel Slammed for Banning "Annoying" Kids With Down Syndrome
A Spanish hotel has been slammed after staff refused to let a group of children with Down syndrome stay the night "in case they annoyed" the other guests.
The CaboGata Plaza Suites, located in the south coastal resort town of Almeria, has reportedly refused a reservation for a group of children with Down syndrome who were there to celebrate an end-of-term trip on grounds that "these kinds of people might annoy other guests," according to The Local.es.
A worker from Down España, an association that runs a school for children with Down syndrome, had reportedly asked a travel agent to get prices from three hotels. However, CaboGata Plaza Suites responded by writing "we do not admit groups of guests with mental disabilities," adding, "this has happened before."
Down España then reported the upsetting incident to the public prosecutor because the association felt that there was a "a clear case of discrimination against disabled people that breaks the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Spain."
The Down syndrome association said the latest incident is not the first time people with the mental condition have been discriminated against in Spain, according to The Local.es. In recent years a nightclub in Sabadell and a bar in Alicante have both been prosecuted for refusing access to people with Down syndrome.
The hotel's management has apologized for the incident, claiming that it was "a misunderstanding".
"In 35 years of business we have never refused access to guests with Down syndrome," the management said, adding that people with the mental disability "have been, are, and always will be very welcome," according to UPI.
The management explained that the hotel staff had turned away the group of kids because they thought they were dealing with another group of previous hotel guests with a different disability who had been "very confrontational," according to International Business Times.
Down España, a leading Down syndrome association in Spain, recommended that people and families who have encountered any type of discrimination demand a complaint form to record the details and notify the public prosecutor.
"We haven't gone public with this incident to victimize anyone but to educate the public," Agustín Matía, head of Down España, told The Local.es.