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VA Family considers filing suit after girl with disabililty is banned from bowling

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Posted at 6:09 PM, Aug 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-21 18:09:34-04

HAMPTON, Va. (WTVR)-  A Virginia family is considering suing a bowling alley for discrimination. The family says a young bowler with a disability was banned from playing.

JoJo Sibert was born with spina bifida, then diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and now has an unknown medical condition that causes repeat fractures.  As a result of the illness, JoJo has to wear a boot to keep her balance.

Family members say when JoJo stepped up to bowl at AMF York Lanes, a worker demanded in front everyone that she wear bowling shoes if she wanted to play.

The little girl, who has played many times before, was left disappointed on her birthday.  

“I was feeling sad because I should – they should let handicapped kids do it and not tell them they cant do it,” said JoJo.

Sibert’s mom says she is considering legal action. She says she is standing up for others with disabilities who suffer the same challenges.

In a written statement, AMF’s vice president of marketing apologized for the incident and stated, quote, ” the assistant manager at the bowling center was following the general rules.”  But the company says it should have been “more sensitive and accommodating,” and promised to do try to make sure it never happens again.