Dad Says Water Park Humiliated Daughter With Public Weigh-In
A dad is speaking out about how Raging Rapids turned away his daughter from a new attraction due to her weight, publicly humiliating her.
Family trips to the waterpark are usually fun and silly, even if they can be a bit exhausting. One father and his 13-year-old daughter were ready for a summer day of just that, but what they got instead was a steaming heap of emotional trauma. Andrew Batton said that his daughter was publicly humiliated by staff about her weight.
Batton and his daughter were at Raging Rivers in Grafton, Illinois, to check out a brand new ride, the Mississippi Monster. After waiting in line, and at the top of the slide, they were stopped by an employee. The employee said the daughter needed to weigh herself in front of everyone before going down the slide.
“The guy looked at us and to my daughter and said, ‘You need to step on the scale,” Batton told local station KMOV4. The ride has a weight limit of 200 pounds. “She steps on the scale and she’s 205,” Batton said. She was turned away from the ride.
“To have a company be responsible for such a massive mental impact on my daughter, it’s tough,” added Batton. The water park claims that the weight limit is for safety issues, which Batton acknowledged are important. What he didn’t understand is why this weight limit was not advertised and why the hell anyone thought it would be a good idea to have public weigh-ins at a water park primarily for children.
“I was like, ‘There’s nothing on the media about that. Was this posted anywhere? [The employee] was like, ‘No. We’ve had some people getting hurt so we’re limiting the weight on the ride,” Batton said.
The park is anticipating tubes for the slide that will increase the weight capacity of the ride. But that is not going to undo the trauma already inflicted on Batton’s daughter.
“The disappointment that she felt by not being able to ride the brand-new ride was definitely overshadowed by the public humiliation of being asked to step on a scale,” Batton told KMOV4. “Then further than that, being told that you’re overweight.”
Raging Rivers sent an official statement to KMOV4 about the incident, saying, “Our goal is never to embarrass anyone, but we must look out for their safety while visiting Raging Rivers. Raging Rivers takes an abundance of precautions to ensure the safety of our guests while enjoying our slides and attractions. The new Mississippi Monster Slide has a max weight limit of 200 lbs per rider. Signage is located at the base of the slide, alerting guests of this restriction. In addition, there is a scale that all guests who choose to ride the attraction must step on to ensure they meet the safety requirements for the ride. We will continue to follow manufacturer guidelines for safety while offering our guests a fun experience at Raging Rivers Waterpark.”
If there really was signage — and let’s be real, any parent of a child who has body image issues would have noticed a sign saying there was a weigh in at the top of the slide — it wasn’t good enough. Batton and his daughter were annual passholders, but they do not plan on going back to the park anytime soon.
Safety is vital, but there are plenty of ways to make sure rides are safe without asking kids and teens to step on a scale in public.