Special needs students learn tough lesson at local mall

This just in from the NewsCut “What Is Wrong With You?” department staff.

In the St. Louis area this week a group of special needs students were on a life skills trip to the local mall. Things were going pretty well for the kids and their teachers. They were able to work their way down a list of things they needed to buy at various stores when they stopped at the Bath and Body Works, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports. They were kicked out.

“Advocate for themselves, ask questions, make purchases, document some of the information they found,” explained Principal Joe Sutton. “The hope was that this would be a real positive experience.”

The employee apparently assumed the group wouldn’t be buying anything and was concerned that if they walked past the sensor that tracks the number of people in the store each day, it would hurt their sales percentage.

The teachers and staff members on the trip were extremely frustrated and disappointed, and spoke with the mall manager as well as sharing the story on social media Thursday evening.

The trip turned out to be more than a life skills and social skills lesson, they were exposed to discrimination, one staff member posted on Facebook.

“In this day and age, it is downright disgusting that anyone with special needs would be treated in such manner,” special education teacher Casey Brown wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

Since then, Brown has received an email with an apology from the regional manager, who said they are addressing the problem.

Although some had initially called for a boycott of the store and Brown was unhappy with that particular employee, she said Friday she’s willing to give them another chance. After a conversation with the manager, she believes store officials are taking appropriate measures to train their employees so that all shoppers have a better experience.

It’s the second time this year a worker at the national chain has recoiled at the site of special needs students. It happened earlier this year in Alabama.