A teenager's Sweet Sixteen birthday party was cut short recently when she and her family were kicked out of a Universal Studios in Orlando over her father's T-shirt.
According to WPTV, a local news station in West Palm Beach, Florida, on August 24th, Christian Jarosz and his wife Diana Jarosz of Jupiter, along with their daughter Sabrina Jarosz and her friend, were headed to the Blue Man Group show inside the theme park for Sabrina's birthday, when they were stopped by security. "They kicked me out because of my T-shirt," Jarosz told WPTV.
The shirt in question: A navy blue T with the words, "Police" and underneath, "Street Crime Unit." Christian is not a police officer but his brother-in-law, a New York cop, had given him the shirt as a gift. Although Jarosz says he has worn the shirt to Disney World as well as other theme parks, after he was cleared through the security line, officers stopped him.
"He just basically said you can't have that shirt in the park," Jarosz told WPTV.
The family asked to see the policy in writing and questioned the order, however they also offered to have the security officers follow them to Billabong, a clothing store inside the park, so they could buy another T-shirt. However, at that point, more security officers showed up. Jarosz told WPTV, "They said don't bother buying another shirt, 'you guys are out of here.' I was like 'what are you talking about? I'm buying the shirt right now!' He said... 'don't buy it. You guys are out of here,'"
The family left the park and although they were refunded the $500 they spent on tickets for the Blue Man Group, they say they won't return to Universal Studios again. "They even threatened to arrest us. That really terrified me. I run a school! I've never done anything against the law," Diana Jarosz told WPTV.
Yahoo Shine could not reach the Jarosz family for comment and a rep from Universal Studios did not return Yahoo Shine's email, however a spokesperson for Universal Studios Orlando emailed the following statement to WPTV. "The only people we allow in our parks with shirts or other clothing that might identify them as police officers are working law enforcement personnel. This is for everyone's safety and to avoid confusion by our guests. And while we don't discuss specific guest situations, I can tell you it is our practice to clearly explain policy decisions to our guests - and it is not our practice to ask guests to leave our theme parks simply because they ask us questions. I'd invite these guests to contact us if they'd like to have a conversation about what happened."
There's been no shortage of T-shirts bearing controversial statements recently. In January, NBC reported that while on Qantas Airlines flight from Sydeny to Auckland, Australia, a man named Wynand Mullins was asked to remove his T-shirt, which read, "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." The phrase is a popular quote from the 1987 film "Princess Bride." Mullins told Stuff, a news outlet in New Zealand that a flight attendant asked him to remove his shirt because passengers were intimidated by the slogan, but when he told her that he didn't have another shirt, she let the matter drop. This past April, following the fatal bombings at the Boston Marathon, Nike realized that one of their T-shirts for New York Yankee fans -which bore the words "Boston Massacre" along with blood spatter- had disastrous timing. The company quickly pulled the products from store shelves, but not before photos of the shirt appeared online. And most recently, in August, online retailer The Children's Place pulled a girl's T-shirt from their shelves after a public outcry over the shirt's slogan which had a checklist that read, "My Best Subjects: Shopping. Music. Dancing. Math." All the boxes were checked off, except "math."
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