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Why Your Teen Is Getting Banned from the Mall

The Short of It

Your teen may be getting banned from a mall near you. Shopping centers across the country are enacting curfews for young people who seem to be more into troublemaking than transactions.

The Lowdown

Up to 80 malls across the United States already enforce a curfew or escort policy for teenagers.

"They come in big groups, and incidents happen," says Jesse Tron, a spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers.

If measures like breaking up big groups and making mall security officers more visible don't work, bans are used as a last resort.

The Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, Ohio, is the latest shopping center to ban teens from shopping without an adult on Friday and Saturday nights. Reportedly, a fight involving arrests spawned the enactment of the ban—although the mall denies the new policy is tied to any particular incident.

Other malls plagued with teen mischief, or worse, have had to turn to the drastic measure of not allowing teens to shop without adult supervision. Is your local mall next?

The Upshot

When I was a teenager, my friends and I would meet at the mall, and I'm sure we got into some trouble. But back then, I would have bristled at the idea of having to hang with someone's mom while cruising the mall on a Friday night.

Now that I have three young girls, though, I see another side to the story. Teens in big groups can be a bit intimidating. They're sometimes loud, obnoxious and unpredictable—kind of like really big toddlers. When I'm trying to run a few errands with my daughters on a Friday evening, I don't want any trouble.

So I, for one, support the ban. What's your take?

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