Banned for obesity

It sucks when people tell you that you smell. It’s even worse when they ban you from taking the bus because of it. New Zealand teenager Eruera Simmonds was banned from taking the bus because of complaints about the way he smelled. The obese teen, who weighed 147 kilograms (almost 300 pounds), was devastated because he was unable to go to school.

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By Adrian Pascua

By Adrian Pascua

It sucks when people tell you that you smell. It’s even worse when they ban you from taking the bus because of it.

New Zealand teenager Eruera Simmonds was banned from taking the bus because of complaints about the way he smelled. The obese teen, who weighed 147 kilograms (almost 300 pounds), was devastated because he was unable to go to school. Even though his older sister was allowed to ride, the teen was not allowed to board.

After the incident, Simmonds began to seek counseling, while his mother began the battle with the bussing company that had banned him. His mother, Anne Simmonds, began by telling them that he was being stripped of his dignity and made to feel worthless.

In the end the 14-year-old boy was allowed to back on the bus after long hard fought battle. Given the circumstances, though, it’s not like he won that battle.

The conditions for his re-admittance onto public transportation were that he lose five pounds and get his stomach stapled. He was schedule to operate on Feb. 14.

It is my understanding that those who wish for an education deserve one. It isn’t fair to someone who wishes to go to school to not be allowed to because his hygiene isn’t up to par with what it should be.

We all know of those who go to school just so they can get through. It’s not right that, just because complaints were lodged against Simmonds, he would be denied his right to a good education.

Besides his obesity, Eruera Simmonds has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy – so has his sister. Yet, the bussing company said that because of this he was a health hazard. No one has the right to take away a man’s dignity just because he has health issues. Last time I checked, cerebral palsy wasn’t an epidemic that could be contracted through smell.

Of the American population, 65 percent has to deal with either being overweight or obese. If the case was the same here as it is in New Zealand, then almost 119 million Americans would not be able to board the bus because of prejudice or complaint.

No one has the right to say you can’t ride a public bus because you look this way or don’t have this figure.

Most of our world already has to deal with the fact we can’t see past image, and that we judge what beauty is just by how ripped a man’s body is or by how small a woman’s waist size is. New Zealand has now started a new trend: Don’t get on the bus until you lose weight.

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