A video of a high school group of carolers flash mobbing a Walmart near the front of the store brought threats of the cops being call from the manager if they did not leave the store. The event occurred in Oregon when a group of students from Henley High School in the city of Klamath Falls entered the store and pulled a flash mob singing of a popular Christmas Carol.
A YouTube video shows the group of kids singing as they gather near the Walmart Money Center near the checkout. In an attempt to spread holiday cheer the group sang their hearts out until over the loudspeaker, a Walmart manager informed the group of kids that she would be calling law enforcement to have them removed if they did not leave the store.
Customers appeared to be enjoying the flash mob of high schoolers and many seemed stunned or outraged when the manager made the announcement over the store intercom loudspeaker demanding that the kids leave the store. However, the craziness did not stop there. Parents of the kids were there and many were taking photos or video of the kids with cell phones. Walmart management informed at least one of the parents that Walmart is private property and customers are not allowed to take photos or record video in the store.
Walmart has stepped up their policies following the fatal shooting of John Crawford III by police inside a Ohio Walmart on August 5. Reports said that Crawford stopped and pulled out a cell phone to talk on when he was shot. However, Police reported to the store after receiving a 911 call that an individual was waving a gun. Police also reported that Crawford was told to put the weapon down and after allegedly turning in an aggressive manner, he was shot and killed.
The weapon that Crawford was allegedly brandishing was a unpackaged air rifle that he was said to have picked up off of a store shelf. Not secured and not in the packaging, but yet he was shot and killed. This sparked demonstrations and combined with along last years labor disputes forced Walmart has cracked down on unapproved gatherings.
Walmart allegedly has a policy on flash mobs, even those made up of high schoolers singing Christmas carols during the Christmas shopping season. They are not allowed. No gathering of groups of people, even to spread good cheer. The fear is that an unauthorized gathering would impede shoppers and distract workers as well as unknown or unnamed factors.
The decision by Walmart management to threaten to call the cops on the high school carolers may backfire on them. After the manager made the announcement that the cops would be called if the kids did not leave, parents, customers and even some employees appeared appalled. Many of these kids likely would have spent time spending money in the store after the song, and the attitude of Walmart over such an innocent act of singing a carol during Christmas, which could have actually drawn customers in after they heard about it, may have soured customers from walking into the store again.
By Carl Auer