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A case of discrimination at the New Port Richey city library or a misunderstanding?

Pasco County

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Daina Rogers would like an apology. On a recent trip to the New Port Richey Main Street library, she and her sons and mother were initially denied access due to the mask ordinance.

Her 5-year old son Mayik is disabled and in a wheelchair. Her mother, Valerie Tanner has COPD and neither wear masks due to their disabilities.

Rogers shot the encounter on her cell phone. In the video you see her other two sons wearing masks, she says the only two people in her party not wearing masks were her mother and Mayik.

She was crushed when a library employee informed her they couldn’t come inside.

“These kids already go through so much. They’ve been in lockdown for five months, we’ve been doing everything we can to keep them out,” said Rogers. “So you go out and there’s only limited things you can do and so we’re like, lets go to the library and then you get there and he gets targeted.”

Library employees offered to bring out whatever books the family wanted and eventually allowed everyone to enter.

New Port Richey City Manager Debbie Manns believes the staff members were following the rules.

“From our perspective, we offered the mother a chair. We said, sit down, we can help you. What do you want? We can bring books out,” said Mann. “They decided they wanted to go into the children’s room on the second floor of the building and they marched their way in. “

Rogers believes this was a clear case of discrimination and contacted 8 On Your Side hoping a similar situation won’t happen to anyone else.

“We’ve never had a problem through this whole pandemic with him (Mayik). No one’s ever said a word to us about him,” said Rogers, in tears. “And then the library, we’re like, are you serious right now? Why would you do this? Why would you do this to a family? Why would you do this to my little boy who likes to read books. It’s just not fair.”

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