Isaiah Tate, 5, is disabled and nonverbal and uses a wheelchair. His mother, April Tate, told WSB-TV that one of the things her son enjoys most is watching other children jump and run in the play area of the Mall of Georgia.
"He laughs and giggles and he's so animated; you can tell that he really enjoys being there," Tate said.
On Friday, Isaiah's family took him to the mall and placed him off to the side of the children's play area, as they often do. That is when, Tate says, a security guard told them that Isaiah's wheelchair was a safety hazard and that he had to leave.
"Can you say discrimination at its finest?" Tate wrote on Facebook after posting cellphone footage of the incident her husband had filmed.
"At the time, I was angry and trying not to cry! We have never experienced something like this personally. Isaiah is unable to talk, so I am his voice. I will always stand up for him and I [am] not sorry for that," she wrote.
After hearing of the incident, the Mall of Georgia issued a statement apologizing to the family.
"Mall of Georgia welcomes all shoppers, including those with disabilities, to enjoy our center and our children's play area," the statement read, according to WSB-TV. "Our expectation is to provide an inclusive environment that is safe, comfortable and accessible for everyone, and we have no policy that states otherwise. We have connected with Isaiah's mother to rectify the unfortunate and unacceptable misunderstanding, and are addressing this with our mall team and Allied Barton, our security provider, to ensure this does not occur in the future."
The family told the news station that after speaking with the mall staff, they plan to take their son back to the play area.
Read more at WSB-TV.