A MORNINGTON Aldi supermarket appears to have settled its dispute with Mornington Secondary College over claims of students’ shoplifting and disruptive behaviour.
Although neither the store manager nor the school would comment, Friday, it appears the store’s ban on students has been lifted.
A social media storm erupted when student Jai Duesterhaus filmed himself being refused service and shown the door by the manager of the Peninsula Homemaker Centre store on Nepean Highway.
“You’re telling me I can’t come in because I’m from Mornington Secondary College?” he asks the manager, known as Dom, in his recording.
The manager replies, “Yes, correct. Unfortunately like I said, mate … tweet it, Facebook if you like, but unfortunately schoolkids have stolen from the store. Students plural.”
The student’s mother, Anita, said online she was sent a “written apology” by Aldi after complaining, but that she was told later by the manager over the phone that he “would rather lose the custom of all 1600 families that attend Mornington Secondary, rather than have them in his store”.
“I understand that they have had trouble with shoplifting in the past, however I think it’s utter discrimination to outright ban 1600 students just because of the actions of some,” she wrote online.
A spokesperson for Aldi Australia, who would not be named, said Thursday: “In store locations where we identify shoplifting, disruptive or disrespectful behaviour that involves school students, our preference is to work with the local school to make the issue known.
“This allows the school to attempt to address the issue before it becomes a matter for the police.
“Despite the engagement and support of the local school, a handful of students continued to display inappropriate behaviour. As a result, the Aldi Mornington store made an independent decision to temporarily ban students unless accompanied by an adult.
“The Facebook posts from aggrieved parents and students have been reviewed by Aldi. We agree that the decision to ban unaccompanied students is not a viable solution to this issue and we have since lifted the ban.
“Aldi will continue to work with the school and, if required, with the local police.”
Mornington Secondary College refused to comment.