Letter: Red River Valley Fairgrounds ignores the ADA
Our family attended the Pyrotechnics Guild International finale at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in August and we were stopped at the gate because we had a baggie of peanut butter crackers for our 8-year-old diabetic son. The attendant refused to allow us in because of the rules about outside food. Being with others, we didn't have the choice to leave, so we threw the food away and had to purchase candy later to deal with a low blood sugar. Having to do so resulted in our son battling a roller coaster of blood sugar highs and lows for the rest of the night and feeling quite poorly.
On Nov. 1, I sent a message to the RRVF Association detailing my concerns and requesting them to change their policy. General Manager Bryan Schulz responded that they put up signs and we had plenty of warning to not bring outside food. He said if they made an exception, then everyone would bring outside food and vendors wouldn't make any money.
First of all, that assertion is ridiculous. Out of tens of thousands of people, how many pretend to be diabetic to bring in a baggie of crackers? We weren't talking about a cooler of food. After doing some research, I filed a complaint with the Department of Justice under the Americans with Disabilities Act and would encourage anyone else who was treated this way by any venue to do the same. Schulz asserted that the Fargodome, movie theaters and other related venues all have the same policies. If that is true, they are all in the wrong.
Per the United States vs. SFX Entertainment d/b/a Clear Channel Entertainment lawsuit, the DOJ determined venues cannot refuse to allow diabetics to bring life-saving food (as well as all diabetic supplies) into venues. Do not allow Red River Valley Fairground to continue to refuse to follow the law.
Breimeier lives in Winton, Minn.