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Woman Confronted For Shoplifting, But Only Thing She Has Under Shirt Is Pregnant Belly

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Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. But it’s also a difficult 9 months, and any mom knows that sometimes even leaving the house in the last trimester is a challenge.

But groceries have to be purchased and other errands need to be run. So moms do what is needed, no matter how uncomfortable they are.

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One pregnant mother from North Carolina was out shopping for school supplies when her routine errand quickly turned into a mortifying situation.

This year’s Staples ad for back-to-school shopping refers to the office supply chain as the #BackToSchoolSpecialists.

The company claims to care for its customers. “Our customers are busier than ever …” the Staples website reads. “… No matter what they need … we’re here to help them get more done. We make it easy to make more happen.”

Do you think retail employees should undergo sensitivity training?

But Sherell Bates’ recent experience at her local Staples store did not make her feel like a valued customer.

Bates is 34 weeks pregnant. With twins. But her growing belly raised a red flag for the store manager at the Pineville Staples.

When checking out with the items she had chosen, the poor mom was confronted by a police officer. “He asked what was under my shirt,” Bates told WSOC TV 9.

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“Initially, I thought he was joking, so my response was, ‘Twins,’” she explained. But her explanation was not good enough.

The officer didn’t believe the mother’s story. To avoid further harassment, Bates felt she had no other choice but to lift up her shirt slightly and expose her pregnant belly.

When she pressed the officer for information to help her understand why she had been approached, the officer admitted the store manager had asked him to investigate.

But the manager was no where in sight. When Bates asked to speak with her, the manager came forward admitted that they’d dealt with shoplifting issues before.

Still, this is no excuse for the way the situation was handled. “No mom should have to go through that,” Bates said.

WSOC TV 9 reported that Staples did issue a statement saying a “full refund” was given to Bates and “that the manager in question did not follow correct protocol and also failed to adhere to our existing policy on how to interact with our customers.”

The company’s statement said that manager has since been fired, and also expressed the company’s apology.

But Bates is asking for more than a form apology. “To be on the safe side,” Bates told Fox 46, “you need to have some type of sensitivity training company wide… so that no type of mistake or mishap would happen like this again.”

Since Bates has spoken out about her experience, others have shared her story, and the company has received some backlash from its customers.

One person commented on a Staples Facebook video, urging others not to choose Staples for their back to school shopping.

Staples replied to the comment with their official statement, reiterating, “At Staples, we want all customers to feel welcome in our stores, and work with our associates to foster an inclusive culture …”

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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