Updated: March 18, 2012
A mother claims her family was discriminated against at the Little Rock Zoo Sunday because her children are of mixed race and adopted.
Dana Newman, who is white, says her family drove more than three hours from Salem, AR to visit the zoo. Her family includes two adult biological children and 9 adopted children, only 1 of whom is white, the rest are of other races.
When they arrived at the zoo gate, Newman says, because her kids don't look like her, they were told they couldn't use the family pass without proving they were really a family; the employee at the gate even asked to see adoption decrees.
Newman says they were held up for more than half an hour, their children growing more upset as other families were let in around them.
"There was a couple behind us and I asked them, are you going to ask for a birth certificate for that child? I mean, that's insane," Newman said.
Eventually, a supervisor allowed them in. Zoo officials say they've been having a problem with day care centers abusing the family pass system, so employees may have been trying to verify that the Newmans were not in fact a business.
We spoke with the Zoo Director. He apologized and said they would likely be doing some sensitivity training for employees in the future.
Story Credit and video Here