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We All have a “Steak” in Standing Up for People with Special Needs

Houston waiter Michael Garcia has received much praise and attention lately for standing up for a child with special needs. Garcia, a waiter at a steak house in Houston, refused to serve patrons who complained that they had been seated next to a family with a son who has Down Syndrome.

The patron and his family were moved out of Garcia’s section and eventually left the restaurant. But despite being moved, Garcia said the patron continued to talk about the child and said, “special needs children need to be special somewhere else.”

At that point Garcia refused to serve the patron and his family. He said he was concerned that he might lose his job as a result of the refusal, but felt that it was the right thing to do and that he could always find another job.

“Maybe there were other ways

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I could have handled it, but Milo (the child with special needs) is such an angel, he is a gift from God as are all special needs children,” Garcia said.

I could not agree with Mr. Garcia more. People with special needs are our relatives, friends, neighbors, and community members. They, like all people, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

I applaud Mr. Garcia for his integrity and courage. His actions are a source of encouragement to all of us who advocate for people with special needs.

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