A group of teens of African descent was asked to leave a Melbourne, Australia, Apple store because the staff was concerned they “might steal something” (video below).
Six students from Melbourne's Maribyrnong College were told by a staff member and two security guards at the Highpoint Apple store that they were not allowed in the store. Video of the teens’ interaction with the staff has gone viral after being uploaded to Facebook Nov. 10.
“These guys [security guards] are just a bit worried about your presence in our store,” the Apple staff member told the teens in the video. “They’re just worried you might steal something.”
When one student asked why they think they would steal something, the staff member said, “End of discussion. I need to ask you to leave our store.”
Many people on social media believe the incident was racially motivated.
“That’s what people do, racial profiling happens a lot, and white Australians want to ignore that,” Facebook user Fardawsa Shanino wrote. “Smart of u guys for recording it.”
On Nov. 12, Apple Australia confirmed the store’s manager apologized to the students and their school’s principal, Nick Scott, The Telegraph reports.
Scott says that this was not the first time some of his students have been treated this way.
“At Highpoint (shopping mall) two weeks ago they asked to try out some self-propelled scooter and the guy told them, ‘No, you can’t, legally I can’t let you try it out,’” the principal told the Herald Sun. “They walked away and turned around and another kid was using it.”
Scott says he accompanied the boys to the store when they returned on Nov. 11 as they were worried they would be banned again.
“All I hoped to do yesterday, and we were very successful in doing this, was to just ask the local Apple store there to just reassure the boys that they would always be welcome, which they did with good grace,” he said.
According to Scott, some of the students were born in Australia and some have parents who were refugees or migrants. He added that the school is in one of the poorest and most culturally diverse parts of Melbourne.