A 7-year-old girl drew a heartbreaking picture on the day she was kicked out of a wet play area for wearing the same swimwear as boys.
The girl’s mother, Roz Dzelzitis, accused Downtown Silver Spring fountain of ordering her daughter out of the water play fountain for wearing swim shorts and rash guard tee.
Parents on Facebook slammed the DTSS fountain for putting the little girl and her mom through so much all because of a “ridiculous” rule.
Dzelzitis shared a picture of the offending rash guard shirt made for the water and shorts that were also for swimming. She recounted the frustrating experience with her followers.
The guard told our daughter, ‘OUT!’ and showed me (Roz) the rule book he carries with photos of acceptable swimwear.
I explained that her rash guard and swim shorts ARE swimwear, even shorter than the boys. He said, ‘But those are boys,’ and told me ‘She’s a girl.’
When my daughter protested and pointed out the boys, he repeated that ‘Those are boys’ and turned to my daughter and said ‘You’re a girl.’
According to the mom, the security guard pulled out a rule book that contained drawings of swimwear and explained that her daughter wasn’t dressed appropriately.
Dzelzitis tried to tell the employee that the shirt and shorts were made for swimming. The mom shared a picture of her daughter standing next to a boy in shorts and a “Surfs Up” shirt and two girls in a bathing suit.
She wrote to the DTSS property manager:
It’s not fair that boys get to wear swim shorts in the fountain and girls need to wear swim underwear or a (one piece) swim suite.
And slammed the organization for its “discriminatory message” to youngsters.
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Posted by Downtown Silver Spring on Saturday, June 15, 2019
Thank you again for bringing this unfortunate incident to our attention. We want to assure everyone that there is no policy requiring gender specific swimwear in the splash fountain. There is a Montgomery County regulation that patrons must be attired in swimming apparel. We are taking steps to educate and retrain our officers to ensure they are clear on our policy.
However, Dzelzitis learned that her experience was not isolated. Other parents wrote about their children being turned away.