A young boy was told to remove his shirt or face being denied boarding on a plane because the piece of clothing had a snake printed on it.
As the parents of 10-year-old Stevie Lucas from New Zealand explained, they were stunned when security personnel at an airport in South Africa told the boy he couldn’t board the plane while wearing the shirt with a snake printed on it.
According to the officials, snakes-themed clothing and toys are forbidden which is why the boy had to remove his shirt and wear something more appropriate in order to be allowed to board the plane.
As local media reported, the reasoning behind this is because seeing something that resembles a real snake so closely might give people anxiety or even result in a panic attack.
With no other shirts at hand, Stevie’s mother simply told her son to turn the shirt inside out in order to hide the snake print.
“Security officers have the right to determine if an object has the potential to harm fellow passengers and crew members by causing certain objects or prints to be anxious,” Johannesburg airport officials explained in a statement following the incident.
While the issue was solved by inverting the T-shirt, the parents reached out to the Airports Company of South Africa determined to get a proper explanation.
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Note that we asked for a more extensive reason for the clothing rules and restrictions. We will give you feedback as soon as we receive it,” the company allegedly responded in an email.
As for 10-year-old Stevie, he found the whole incident to be rather amusing and not something that would shake his love for reptiles.
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