A mother speaks out after son with Down syndrome was denied service

Jessica Johnson is hoping to let families know this is an issue they might see as well at some businesses.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Jessica Johnson says her son has Down syndrome and was denied a haircut at a local Great Clips.

Now she is speaking out, hoping to let families know this is an issue they might see as well at some businesses.

“She looked at my sons and said I will give your 3 and 5-year-olds a haircut but I will not give him a haircut,” said Johnson.

Johnson’s son, Jase, has Down syndrome, which makes wearing a mask difficult for him. And at his age, most guidelines say he does not have to wear one.

“He goes to therapy, you know, and he’s not required to wear a mask,” said Johnson. “So, he has to go to know the pediatrician, when you go for a checkup at one you are not required to wear a mask, so there’s other scenarios that we have not had to encounter this so I thought that was interesting.”

According to CDC guidelines, children 2 years old and up should wear a mask. The World Health Organization advises that children 5 and under should not be required to wear a mask and the local health department follows those same guidelines. All three acknowledge those with medical conditions do not have to wear a mask as well.

Johnson says she understands businesses can create their own rules for the safety of their employees.
However, she hopes business owners can make exceptions for people with disabilities or those who need special accommodations.

“There are people out there that may need accommodations, and I hope that they have compassion and understanding to kind of, you know, merge the two worlds together and create normalcy for everybody,” said Johnson.
Johnson has a message to parents.

“Unfortunately, I mean we may have to call ahead and be like this is my situation, you know, are you okay because you know it’s under guidelines that my child does not have to wear a mask,” said Johnson. “Is that the policy for your store? I think having as parents being such a big advocate and the community, creates change creates growth and awareness.”

We reached out to the owner of that location in Lincoln, who declined to comment.

Categories: Coronavirus, Nebraska News, News