- The Washington Times - Monday, November 10, 2014

A St. Louis-area Bath & Body Works has apologized and vowed to better train employees after a group of special-needs students said they were denied entry to the store.

Seventeen students from Fort Zumwalt North High School went on a field trip last week to Chesterfield Mall to participate in a mall-wide scavenger hunt. The small groups were welcomed by other stores in the mall, but were stopped by a Bath & Body Works employee, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The employee assumed the students were not paying customers and was apparently concerned that they would trigger door sensors that track the number of people in the store each day, negatively impacting their sales percentage, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Teachers and staff members on the trip said they were appalled by how the students were treated and posted their account of what happened on Facebook, threatening a boycott.

“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 Thursday night, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Ms. Brown said she later received an emailed apology from the regional manager, who said they are addressing the problem.

L Brands, parent company of Bath & Body Works, also issued a statement: “We very much regret this misunderstanding and have personally spoken with the teacher to offer our most sincere apology and welcome her and her students in our stores at any time.”

This is the not first time Bath & Body Works has apologized for ill treatment of special-needs students. In March, an employee at an Alabama store asked a group to leave over similar foot traffic-to-sales concerns, the Post-Dispatch reported.

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