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Waiter Refused Service to Man Who Commented About Special Needs Child

A waiter is being celebrated after refusing to serve a family after they bad mouthed a child with Down syndrome sitting nearby.

Would you do the same?

Michael Garcia has worked in a Houston restaurant for 2 years, and considers Kim Castillo and her family to be among his regulars.

Kim’s 5-year-old son Milo has Down syndrome.

Milo Castillo
NBC News

While the Castillos were at the restaurant recently, a man seated nearby them moved his family to a different table. Garcia says he heard the man say, ‘Special needs children need to be special somewhere else.’

Garcia reportedly then told that family he would be unable to serve them, asking how they could say that about a child. The family left the restaurant.

The Castillos didn’t know about the incident until afterwards, but Garcia is now being hailed as a hero for defending Milo.

Houston waiter refused service
Michael Garcia (NBC News)

I’m torn on this one.

Obviously the guy who made the nasty comment is ignorant and a jerk, but I think a lot of people are uncomfortable around people and things they aren’t familiar with. Instead of refusing to serve the family, Garcia could have educated them about how Milo may look different, or sound different, but is a lot like any other kid.

When you work with the public, you always try to avoid confrontation, but since he was obviously willing to confront them, there was probably a better way to go about it…maybe one that would have opened their minds about children with special needs and about being tolerant to those who are different.

Would that have worked? Would it have changed that man’s mind? Who knows, but isn’t it worth it to try?

As for the people who will claim it violates ‘free speech,’ that’s incorrect. The man is absolutely free to say whatever he wants, however, in return, a privately-owned business can refuse to serve him for his words (or any other reason.)

I’m honestly glad the waiter stood up for Milo, and I hope this will encourage people to think about what they say before they say it…I’m just not sure this guy is a ‘hero.’

I’d prefer to say he’s just an awesome guy who stood up for what he believes in.

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How would have handled the situation? Tell us in the comment section below!

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