Exceptional Service: Social Enterprise

Exceptional Service: Social Enterprise
October 27, 2022

What’s the story?

October 26, 2022
Crumbl Cookies coming to Forest Acres
by Cola Daily. Columbia, SC.

Were special education students included in the story?

No. Only a former teacher who is opening a franchised bakery was interviewed and quoted. The story doesn’t mention if she was a special education teacher.

What’s in the news?
An empty nest couple, whose children are in college, are opening a Crumbl Cookies store in the Cardinal Crossing center in Forest Acres. The wife is a former elementary school teacher.

She plans to hire: retired people, stay at home parents, military spouses, and students in high school and college.

The red flag is that she plans to partner with a special education teacher at a local high school for a job skills program.

The disabled students would have the job of assembling the chain’s pink boxes at the school.

They will be paid in cookies. PAID IN COOKIES. Cookie Monster would love this job. A disabled person wouldn’t. This is discrimination against disabled students. The nondisabled are paid. The disabled are not.

The store will open on December 1, 2022.

Does it say “inclusion”?
Crumbl Cookies is a bakery franchise started in 2017 in Utah. I never heard of it until I found this story on Google Search “special education store”. It looks like this may be the first in this franchise to announce a job skills program for special education students, which still isn’t inclusion. It would be inclusion if they were paid and on-site assembling the boxes. In this setup, the special education students would not be able to learn the real job skjlls because they won’t interact with employees and customers. A paid employee of the bakery with permission to enter the school for this program would handle transportation of the boxes from the store, to the school, and back to the store.

Is it for the student? Or is it for the teacher?
It apparently is for the former teacher who franchised a bakery. The story doesn’t say if she is a former special education teacher.
It is not the job of special education student to work in sweatshop assembling boxes for a private franchised business during school hours. It is not for them to do the same for a school run store.

Is This the Least-Restrictive Environment?
Definitely not.

The special educations students must be paid like the other high school and college students, not assemble boxes in a likely public school, or possibly private school, in a sweatshop to be paid in cookies. Only the disabled would be paid in cookies. Their supervisors, likely the teacher, aide, and maybe a store assistant manager who transports the boxes, will be paid. This also violates child labor laws for special education students under the age of 18.

Will they socialize with employees and customers, which is normal for this type of job?

The least restrictive environment in the job environment would be equal status as nondisabled people at work.

This is not equal status at school and work for a special education job skills program.

What needs to change?
It is slavery to have only disabled people assemble boxes and be paid only in cookies.
It is not the public school system’s place to be a sweatshop for a private business.
The special education students must be paid as if they were not disabled. Nondisabled people in a factory are paid to make them. Nondisabled people would be paid for assembling them. Disabled people must be paid, too.

Is it for a high school diploma?
Sweatshop work for disabled students may or may not lead to a diploma. It is dependent on the student’s Individualized Education Program.