Four mothers in the UK were ejected from the IKEA cafeteria in Bletchley and later received an official apology from both from IKEA management in Sweden and the local store manager. Why? Perhaps because not everyone understands homeschooling.
The four homeschooling families have been in the habit of meeting every Monday in the IKEA cafeteria for coffee and a quiet play session, consisting of board and card games and other quiet activities. Recently 6 IKEA co-workers confronted the group and they were ejected from the store for reasons varying from taking up too much room (the cafeteria was 1/2 empty) to bringing outside food (two moms brought food for their babies) and even the highly dubious statement that the kids games were “gambling” and against store rules. One of the co-workers said: ”I don’t see much education going on.”
One of the mom’s involved, Shoshana Toothill, started an email campaign urging other homeschoolers to boycott IKEA as well as emailing IKEA representatives in Almhult. Last week the mothers involved were invited back to meet with the store manager: ”He was very, very nice. He apologised and was very positive and encouraging. He said mums and children were core Ikea customers and we were welcome any time.”
The irony? The co-worker that didn’t see “much education going on” was in FACT teaching a very important lesson at that very moment: People sometimes make mistakes, simply because of their perspective at the moment that they make a decision.
IKEA has a very deeply entrenched policy of being a family friendly store, but despite that, the co-workers involved saw a group monopolizing tables and not buying much. I’m willing to bet that the store manager saw a group of 4 mothers that make a habit of coming into his store every week, which is exactly what any manager would want.
In any case as fellow homeschoolers, we’d like to say kudos to Shoshana of Galley Hill! And thanks to Sally Murrer and the Milton Keynes Citizen for the original article: Play ban lifted, on the orders of Ikea’s big boss