A family in Bal Harbour, Florida, has received a letter complaining about their teenaged daughter and asking them to move out of their apartment complex.
The writer of the letter holds the sixteen-year-old-girl’s autism responsible for her “major issues” that prevent her from being “socialized with others.” The writer also claims they are speaking on behalf of all 300 residents of the building.
The letter came to the attention of Bal Harbour Mayor Gabriel Groisman, who posted a photo of it to his Facebook page:
The Mayor shared the letter in clear disgust of the accusations against the girl. The note would be appalling under any circumstances, but is especially so considering it is about a teenager with autism.
The letter, which was pushed under the family’s apartment door, begins with the following words angrily typed in bold font:
“The 300 residents of this building will not compromise their quality of life any longer.”
The writer complains that the teenager lacks impulse control and often screams, something which is “unacceptable” to the neighbours. According to the complainant, the girl is “large framed and hefty”, so when she moves around, it is noisy.
But the writer isn’t satisfied by simply attacking the girl; they also criticise the family for their lack of parenting and control of the ‘situation’, which is why they demand that the family move out of the building.
“We are not responsible for your daughter’s diagnosis. And you have no right to burden us with her diagnosis. We urge you to do the right thing and find another living situation as soon as possible.”
The letter also warns that the residents have sought legal advice over the matter.
Mayor Groisman’s response was widely supported. He commented on the photo:
“This is NOT our city. We must publicly reject this kind of hatred and ignorance.”
The Mayor is determined to see the writer of the letter held accountable for their flagrant discrimination, and confirmed that he had referred the matter to local law enforcement.
“Everyone must know that this hatred and discrimination has no place anywhere, and certainly not in Bal Harbour.”
Mayor Groisman also confirmed that he had been in contact with the building’s residents association, and they have denied writing or approving the letter. He further promised to use the incident as an opportunity to educate his community about autism. He wrote:
“I have spoke to the parents of this little girl and have assured them that they have my support and the support of our city. With their blessing…we will be creating an awareness and education initiative to teach people about Autism.”
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