Family: Teen with down syndrome turned away from gym - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Family: Teen with down syndrome turned away from gym

Posted: Updated:
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Candlelight Vigil for boy who died in house fire

    Candlelight Vigil for boy who died in house fire

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-08-22 04:02:51 GMT
    A Candlelight Vigil brought together almost 100 people for 7-year-old Kahlil Dangerfield who died from a house fire.More >>
    A Candlelight Vigil brought together almost 100 people for 7-year-old Kahlil Dangerfield who died from a house fire.More >>
  • Palermo in court fighting criminal charges & seizures

    Palermo in court fighting criminal charges & seizures

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:17 PM EDT2014-08-22 00:17:11 GMT
    There's a hotly contested court battle underway between Sulphur businessman Joe Palermo and the state. And it now, partly deals with an investigation that has yet to result in criminal charges.Palermo was due on court motions fighting pending criminal charges against him, including forgery and possession of stolen things. But first off the defense filed a motion asking to secure and examine items seized yesterday, including Palermo's computer. Palermo attorney Karl says the seizure of compute...More >>
    There's a hotly contested court battle underway between Sulphur businessman Joe Palermo and the state. And it now, partly deals with an investigation that has yet to result in criminal charges.Palermo was due on court motions fighting pending criminal charges against him, including forgery and possession of stolen things. But first off the defense filed a motion asking to secure and examine items seized yesterday, including Palermo's computer. Palermo attorney Karl says the seizure of compute...More >>
  • Flushable wipes causing havoc for sewer systems in Lake Charles

    Flushable wipes causing havoc for sewer systems in Lake Charles

    Thursday, August 21 2014 7:49 PM EDT2014-08-21 23:49:13 GMT
    What we flush matters. The infrastructure in Lake Charles goes back 50 years in many places. Wastewater administrators said an old system was not built for many items we flush today, like flushable wipes.More >>
    What we flush matters. The infrastructure in Lake Charles goes back 50 years in many places. Wastewater administrators said an old system was not built for many items we flush today, like flushable wipes.
    More >>
RIPLEY, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South family with two children says they tried to join a fitness center earlier this week but were turned away because the staff was not trained to deal with one of their children, who has Down Syndrome.

"After we purchased our family membership, we could only bring three-quarters of our family," said mother Sherrie Cates.

No matter the day or circumstance, 13-year-old Mollie Cates is a happy young lady.

Her parents said they were shocked at how they were treated when they took Mollie and her older sister to Ripley Family Fitness Center Monday.

"We got turned away because of her," said father Kevin Cates.

Kevin and his wife said it was the first time all four family members had been to the gym together.

"Their brochure says they don't turn anyone away, anyone can come in. But, we were met at the door and they said their staff isn't trained to deal with anyone like Mollie," said Sherrie.

Sherrie said her daughter is in a regular class at school and even participates in physical education. She said there is no reason she should not be able to go to the gym.

"We were never given a chance to say, 'We'll be with her. This is how we can work with her.' We were just told, 'No, there's no one here who can work with her,'" said Sherrie.

The gym is owned and operated by the city of Ripley.  City attorney Steve Crain said the gym has never come in contact with a customer with Down Syndrome.

Crain says they are working now on ways to accommodate Mollie Cates.

"She needs to be strong and healthy just like everyone else. I want her to have that chance," said Kevin.

City Attorney Steve Crain says the Cates family never included Mollie's name on the official application, which also requires a doctor's statement for membership.

Crain calls the whole thing a misunderstanding.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow