Should Shopping Malls Set Teen Curfews?
Teens who want to spend their weekend nights hanging out with friends at the mall may have to rethink their plans - at least if they live in Dallas.
The NorthPark Center, an upscale mall developed largest climate-controlled retail establishment in the world, has imposed a strict 6 PM curfew for teenagers. Effective immediately, parents or legal guardians must accompany anyone ages 17 or younger in the mall after that time.
The exceptions are youths working at stores or youngsters going directly to and then leaving movies.
Under the new restrictions, security can ask anyone not in compliance to leave the mall. Unaccompanied teenagers and children can be asked to produce an ID, such as a driver license, school ID, visa or passport.
NorthPark Center isn't the first to institute a curfew policy. As of 2007, more than 46 of the 1,200 enclosed malls in the U.S. had adopted parental-escort policies, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
But is it fair to bar teens - many of whom are old enough to legally drive - from hitting up the mall? Parents seem pretty split on the issue.
"If the intent is to stop the loitering and just mall walking and things like that I think it's a great idea," Terry Wilson told Foxdfw. Others disagreed. “I think it’s a little early. I think more like 8:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m., maybe,” said another parent Debbie Hilliard.
What do you think? Are shopping mall curfews a smart move or overly restrictive?