Friday, July 12, 2013

When Did Modern Society Begin Assuming that All Adult Men Who Enter a Park, a Museum, a Fair or any Public “Fun Event” Without a Child Must be There to Abduct or Molest One? Today’s Example: John St-Onge Barred From Legoland Discovery Center.

While driving yesterday I was listening to the radio and caught a morning show talking about John St-Onge being denied admission to Legoland (see article below). 

It’s despicable that modern society has become so paranoid of all men that public areas are now off-limits to them because “we” believe they pose a risk even though they’ve done nothing wrong. 

Those who have been mandated to bear the public label “sex offender” face discrimination and banishment daily by state laws banning them from museums, parks, campgrounds,  lakes, beaches, golf courses, ski resorts, state and county fairs, fast-food establishments with playgrounds and this list goes on. Plus private establishments with policies like Six Flags and Disneyworld denying admission to all registered sex offenders, no exceptions. Then there have been airlines forcing men to move seats away from minors and water parks calling the police on grandfathers. These fear mongering, knee-jerk over-reactions or policies being projected onto every adult man are truly heartbreaking. What has happened to our society? 

Lenore Skenazy has written about this before “when almost any man who has anything to do with a child can find himself suspected of being a creep." She dubs it "worst-first" thinking: Immediately assuming the worst, even if it's highly unlikely. "Then we congratulate ourselves for being so vigilant."   

Policies like these are based on assumptions and you know what your mother told you about assuming something. You make an ass-out-of-you-and-me. 

To assume that a 63 year old man and his adult daughter are at Legoland Discovery Center not to admire the Lego’s but to create an unsafe environment for children might be one of the most pathetic policies I’ve come across in the last 5 years of being an advocate for reforming our sexual laws, registries and legal restrictions and I’ve shaken my head in dismay too many times to even count. 

This is what a zero-tolerance mentality does to society, destroys it. 


John St-Onge Barred From Legoland Discovery Center Because He Was Unaccompanied By A Child  By Ryan Grenoble, July 10, 2013
A self-described "Lego fanatic" isn't feeling the love after a trip to the Legoland Discovery Center in Vaughan, Canada, ended before he was even allowed inside.

John St-Onge, was barred from entering a Legoland Discovery Center because he was not accompanied by a child. His adult daughter, Nicole, had traveled with St-Onge on the three-hour drive from their hometown of Windsor, Ontario, to realize her father's long-time dream, but that was not enough to get them through the door, CTV News reports.

“I felt discriminated against,” St-Onge recalled to the National Post. “[I was thinking] ‘What, are you painting a label on my back, that I'm a pedophile?’ That's what really, really, really bothered me. What do you think I'm going to do in there?”

St-Onge says his interest in the toy playsets began when his kids were born and continued long after they outgrew them. He now has an estimated 50,000 lego pieces in his collection, which he uses to stay occupied when health problems keep him indoors. (John has diabetes and cancer, and he is recovering from heart surgery, CTV notes.)

He's long wanted to visit the Legoland store in Denmark -- the location of the company's headquarters -- but the same health problems that keep him indoors also prevent him from flying.

"The look on his face was like a child not getting the gift at Christmas that they want," Nicole told the outlet. "He felt discriminated against because he's a senior citizen who also happens to like Lego."

In an emailed comment to The Huffington Post, the Vaughan Legoland Discovery Center's general manager René Gurtner explained the policy is intended to create a safe, family-oriented environment.

Legoland Discovery Center's primary objective is to provide a safe and fun attraction for families with children aged three to twelve years to enjoy together. In order to constantly maintain a welcoming and safe environment in which to play, the Centre does not permit entry to groups of adults, adult couples, or lone adults, who are not accompanied by a child or children under the age of 18.

Gurtner added that all Legoland Discovery Centers have the same policy, which is stated on their website (albeit in a hard to find location). They do, however, hold "adults only" nights" from time to time.

CLARIFICATION: The story has been updated to clarify that the incident happened at a Legoland Discovery Center. Legoland Discovery Center and "Legoland" are separate Lego-themed attractions.

Legoland dream dies for man, 63, over rule that adults must be accompanied by kids, July 8, 2013