Mom: Autistic son denied haircut at Kennewick JC Penney

TRI CITIES -- A Richland mom tells KEPR her son was denied a free haircut at the JC Penney salon because he has Autism.

She had seen an ad for free kids haircuts at the store all through the month of August.

So, she was absolutely shocked when nanny Sarah Buchkoski took the 10-year old to the Kennewick store, only to be quickly turned away.

"He likes to cover his ears," says Buchkoski, "and the stylist asked what he was doing. I explained he has Autism, and she said I can't cut his hair. I don't cut hair for kids with special needs."

To get all sides of the story, Action News spoke to a salon supervisor, and one of the store managers. The did not want to go on camera, but insist that JC Penney does not discriminate in any way.

KEPR learned the store fully intends to resolve the incident and offered to come to Krista's home to do the haircut for free, or to open the store early for her convenience so her son could be the only customer in the salon. JC Penney explained that it plans to take corrective action once the specific stylist is identified.

The Kennewick store cut hair for more than 300 kids Wednesday. This is the first year for this promotion. The salon says it will use this incident to educate all of its employees how to handle these types of situations in the future.

But for Krista, there won't be a future. At least not at JC Penney.

She claims her repeated calls to the store manager and the salon manager have yet to be returned. All she wants is an apology.