An 11-year-old was reduced to tears on Monday after a water park told her she couldn't ride the water slides.
Savannah Fulkerson said she has to wear protective swimwear because of a skin disorder.
That swimwear is the reason that Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Los Angeles prevented her from going on a water slide.
“It made me really mad and upset,” Savannah said.
“It's just not right,” said Andrea Fulkerson, Savannah's mother. “You gotta treat everyone the same.”
Savannah said she has to cover up from head to toe. She even wears gloves. It's all because she has a rare disorder called EPP. It causes the skin to have a painful reaction to light.
“It feels like lava is being poured on you,” Savannah said. “It hurts and you just want to curl up in a ball and cry.”
Her mother says Savannah was turned away from the slides because management told her the swimwear was too loose and in too many separate pieces.
“And I said ‘well guys wear board shorts what's the difference?'” Andrea Fulkerson said. “'Those are loose, those aren't tight' and she said ‘that's a bathing suit' and I said ‘this is a bathing suit too.'”
After a friend from a support group posted the photo on a social media, reports were that several people called and emailed to complain, claiming discrimination.
The Fulkersons said management eventually allowed Savannah to go on the rides with inner tubes. However, the family said it wasn't not good enough.
The park cited safety concerns and issued a statement.
"T-shirts and surf/rash shirts are not allowed on body slides. All other attractions were available to the family,” it read. “The family chose to stay in the park after discussing the situation with our park supervisor."
The Fulkersons said they hope the park will make changes to help those with her disorder feel more accepted.
“She doesn't even like to wear what she has on but she knows that if she wants to come outside in the daytime, that's what she has to wear,” Andrea Fulkerson said.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor said it gave the family the inner tubes for free.
The Fulkersons said they don't plan on returning to the park, ever, because it was too upsetting of an experience.
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