Strict Curfews Snap Shut On Teen Mallrats

A Cleveland mall is enacting a tough teen curfew: no teens without adult accompaniment after 2:30 pm, 7 days a week. While anti-teen curfews are nothing new, the mall’s is the only one to be in effect every single day. According to the mall, packs of unruly teenagers spending little money are driving away legitimate paying shoppers. Apparently this is part of a national trend to keep teens out of malls. Basically, we don’t want teens congregating anywhere in public. It’s best they stick to the rickety barn, the derelict mine shaft, and the defunct mill.

Shopping centers showing mallrats the door [MSNBC] (Thanks To Doug!)

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  1. louisb3 says:

    Hasn’t this been going on for a few years now?

  2. BlondeGrlz says:

    As a teenager I would have cried if they threw me out of the mall. Now as an adult I see the point. My mall in VA had a “only 3 to a group” rule which I thought was pretty good.

  3. RagingTowers says:

    I am all for it. Granted I’m not a teen anymore by 2 years. But I see stupid shit all the time when I do visit the mall.

    The large mall downtown started a “No one under 18 after 6 pm” cause of gang fights…Seriously. I live in a white trash wonderland, and these people act like they are bloods and crips.

    If you wanna act like a little shit, then do it somewhere else.

    Though I do think that no one after 2:30 pm is a little extreme. School lets out at 3, so basicly they are saying that you can come to the mall, during school hours, but if you get caught then you are truant.

    Good luck getting teenage slaves for mall jobs now

  4. Illusio26 says:

    I’m all for it. Malls are private property, and if they don’t want non-shoppers taking up space, thats their option. Its understandable that they wouldn’t want people just taking up space and using mall resources without spending any money. Let the kids go hang out at the park or some other public place.

  5. Trai_Dep says:

    Well, that’s aweful. Now where are Republican pols going to find “dating” material?

  6. dlayphoto says:

    When I worked downtown, I often spent my lunch hour at Tower City. Every time I was there I couldn’t help but notice the throngs of young high-schoolers there, being loud and causing trouble, when they should be in school.

  7. specialed5000 says:

    @blondegrlz:
    The Charleston Town Center here in Charleston, WV has signs posted saying something like “unaccompanied juveniles in groups of 4 or more will be disbursed” but I don’t think it is strictly enforced unless the kids are being loud or otherwise causing a problem. This seems reasonable to me.

  8. DeeJayQueue says:

    I’m not sure what to think of this.

    On the one hand I’m not a teenager anymore, by a long shot, and I hate having to wade through bondage pants and spiked hair outside of Hot Topic, or get bumped into with errant bowls of ColdStone because someone wasn’t watching where they were going. Sort of the Get Off My Lawn mentality.

    On the other hand, where are these kids supposed to go that they won’t get into trouble? In my area there aren’t many public parks that aren’t just big swaths of grass with a few trees off in the corner. woo. hoo. fun times. There are hardly any skate parks that teenagers can get to without driving, and all the arcades are closed as well.

    We push our kids out of the house because we don’t want them becoming couch potatoes, but they aren’t allowed to do anything or go anywhere out in the real world. No wonder they act out all the time and get into trouble. If I felt so much like a pinball I’d do the same stuff.

    How about sitting the same people down who impose curfews like this and make them come up with a list of 10 places that the displaced teenagers can go or things they can do, then put up signs in the mall to lure them away. It’s win win. The busybody meddling NIMBY fucks get rid of the teens but they have to work for it, the kids get places to go, and everyone’s happy.

  9. Thaddeus says:

    I’m in my mid twenties and still get hassled at Tower City. The center piece of the mall is a long elaborate marble fountain that was designed for people to sit around. Sit on or near it and expect to be shooed along like a human pigeon.

    I can understand why they want to keep the kids out, but seriously, our cities economy is in shambles and they need every tax dollar they can get.

  10. Pylon83 says:

    @DeeJayQueue:
    The simple fact that they have nowhere else to go is not a terribly persuasive argument in favor of the malls allowing the kids to hang out there. I hate those arguments. It’s not the malls fault, nor their problem that the kids have nowhere else to go.

  11. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    This is pretty outrageous in my opinion (and yes, I am older than 20). Especially in the suburban landscape there aren’t many places for kids to go, especially for the cases where kids have real reasons to want to stay out of the house. I’m sure a better solution can be found that will assuage the egos of middle-aged shoppers and give teenagers somewhere to go/something to do. Granted they can be a bit noisy and stupid, but it comes with the territory.

  12. SaraAB87 says:

    It is better for the malls business to do this unfortunately. Teen’s spend little money in the mall and it is true that the malls shoppers do not want to have to put up with them or feel threatened by them. Malls don’t even have arcades anymore because the arcades supposedly bring the unwanted crowds, and if there are arcades where you live most of them you cannot get into alone unless you are over 18 or over 21 eliminating that choice. Most malls here have similar rules and enforce them with guarded entrances.

    I am not a teen anymore but I also see the teen’s side of the story. There is no where for a teen to go anymore, so they take to the streets which means vandalism and more loitering. If the mall wants this policy they should contribute money or something to a safe place for teens to go to have fun, not every teen is bad and some are just looking for entertainment. We cannot just displace teens and expect them to go away, we need to also provide a safe place where they can have fun, there are 2 sides to this story.

    @Thaddeus: If you have made a purchase in the mall you are entitled to be there for as long as you want for up to 24 hours, as you are a legitimate customer of the mall, at least thats the way it works over here.

  13. Jigen says:

    I never hung out at the mall when I was a teenager. I never could stand the mall. Its to be avoided at all costs.
    I also never spent my time hanging out at “the rickety barn, the derelict mine shaft, and the defunct mill.” There are places kids can hang out at other than the mall you know. We aren’t all either alcoholic druggies, or teenybopper mallrats.

  14. Alexander says:

    Let’s see here. When I was a teenager after school I did the following in any given day: 1) stay in school for after school activities (test preparation, tutoring, clubs, etc) 2) Go over a friends house for a bit (play games, do homework, etc) 3) Hmm I don’t know…go home? There were always shores, homework, projects and get this…I had other neighbor kids to hang around with in my block. I don’t know where teenagers are getting all this free time to just hang around in the mall. When I was young I barely got enough time to just watch some tv at night. Regardless, Malls are not babysitters. Just like libraries now have rules that you can’t just go and leave your kids there for 5 hours. Damn I sound old…

  15. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @SaraAB87:

    Why should the mall contribute money for teen activities? Did the mall play a part in having the kids? The job falls to the parents or to the teens themselves.

    The mall is private property. They owe the community taxes, a relatively safe place to shop, and that’s about it. They are not in the business of entertaining teenagers. Frankly, when I go to the mall and have to run the gauntlet of smoking, cursing, screaming teenagers just to get inside, and have to navigate around huge groups of cursing kids while I have my own little one just to get to the shoe store, it makes me want to avoid the mall at all costs.

    You’ll notice that a lot of new shopping centers don’t have “insides” like the malls of old. No inside, no place to hang out, no problem.

    I’m not unsympathetic, but I want a safe place to shop. The mall wants me to have a safe place to shop, too, or I don’t go there & they go dark.

  16. Galls says:

    A mall is not a public space, if you consider it that then democracy is dead.

    Malls have replaced the public space, where you have constitutional rights and now your only right is to spend your money like a little whore.

  17. StevieD says:

    I was a teenager. Once. A long time ago.

    I was bad. Evil. Abusive.

    My HS Senior Class literally took over the Pizza Inn in my town ’cause we had “nowhere” to go. Male Cow Patties, we had places to go, it was just that it was easier to go necking in the backseat of the car at Pizza Inn than it was to go necking in the pew at the 1st Baptist Church with the Preacher’s daughter.

    We chose the easy way, and so are today’s teens.

    Should the malls bannish the teens?

    From a merchant’s perspective I say HELL YES.

    What I did was wrong, and what today’s teens are doing is wrong as well. When we took over the Pizza Inn on Friday and Saturday Nights we were damaging the stores business. Familys with young children did not want to visit because of the roudy teens. The 15 year olds didnt want to take their dates there because of the older teens. The working guys from the mill didn’t want to go there after work for a brew and a slice because of the all of the teens. The college dudes didn’t want to go there because of the “younger” crowd. And us seniors didn’t have much more than a pot to piss in, so we split a large pizza between 10 people and bring our own soda’s because we were so cheap. How can any business stay open when the real paying customers are driven away?

    I recently HAD to go to CC, BB and OD on a Friday night. Needless to say the 3 stores are in megashopping complex. What a firetrucking nightmare. Even OD, like paper and pens is a teenager’s wet dream, was filled with space wasting teenagers. CC was such a zoo. The clerk that waiting on me, himself a pimply faced 20 yearold, even remarked that I was the first paying customer that he had waited upon in over 2 hours. Only BB was semi teen-free and that was only because the squad car parked in front of the store with lights flashing and 3 teens against the side of the car was discouraging more teens from entering the store. {The teens had gotten into a fight and broke a display stand… real smart}

    I really hope my local mall boycotts teens

  18. camille_javal says:

    two-fucking-thirty? My god, this would have seriously damaged what bare social life I had in high school on friday nights.

    I have a bunch of ranty things in my head, including how malls are a blight and they deserve to have herds of adolescents released upon them, but I’ll just comment that I remember when I was a teenager, and how much it did for my respect for authority when I had to deal with a lot of bullshit because of groundless assumptions about my friends and myself. I can still grind my teeth a little when I remember getting tossed out of the mall, or having to dump out my purse to prove I hadn’t stolen anything.

  19. BigNutty says:

    So because security can’t handle teens, they want to get rid of them. Simple solution. Give a written warning to those teens that are disruptive, and if they come back and are disruptive again, call the police and have a trespass citation given to them.

    Why punish the good teens that enjoy the mall and behave like they should?

  20. SOhp101 says:

    I don’t see the ‘cool’ factor of hanging out at a mall, but window shopping is always a fun and free activity. No teens after 2:30pm w/o an adult is pretty harsh, but I don’t know how bad the loitering problem is in Cleveland.

    Ultimately it’s their private property so they can do what they want.

  21. Zombietime says:

    So if teens can’t hang out in the mall, where am I supposed to pick up hot teen girls for some steamy action?

  22. humphrmi says:

    @BigNutty: Punishing all teenagers for their collective actions is a great and glorious tradition. We’ve done it since I was a teenager thirty years ago and we do it still today, and with any luck my kids teenagers will be equally group-persecuted. Don’t rock the boat, pal.

  23. Trick says:

    Parents – MALLS ARE NOT BABYSITTERS.

    Malls are not there to babysit your brat hanging out until you come home or decided to pay attention to your brat.

    Malls are there for business and to make money. They want people who will show up and buy stuff. Malls don’t want bozo teens slack’n the place up.

  24. morganlh85 says:

    Sounds like a bad idea — teenagers are, after all, the group with the largest amount of discretionary income, and probably one of the biggest sources of income for the stores IN the mall.

  25. DallasDMD says:

    @morganlh85: When the teenagers come from a low-income and high-crime demographic, no I don’t think so. The problem is that these roving gangs of teenagers often commit crimes or otherwise make people less likely to want to come, shop, and spend their money.

    I’ve seen the rise and fall of malls as urban decay and its associated demographic shift sets in on a neighborhood. Often times, this is a sort of last-ditch effort to keep the malls viable from the hoodlums that just loiter around and cause problems.

  26. Womblebug says:

    @BigNutty: Basically for the same reason that the entire policy is being protested in the linked article: certain factions are complaining that the policy is racist. If you only go after disruptive teams, eventually someone is going to accuse you of singling certain ones out. So you set a blanket policy and eliminate some of that risk.

    As for the “where are teens supposed to go” question: The issue here is not where can kids go to hang out together. The issue is why can’t (some, not all) kids seem to congregate these days without some form of violence, either verbal or physical, becoming a factor? I really don’t believe these policies are put in place because quiet groups of teenagers were wandering the mall minding their own business but not spending cash (if that was the case I’d never be allowed in). They are put in place because of obnoxious, foul-mouthed, defiant asshats who think this behavior marks them as cool and adult. So if an alternate place was provided for them, they’d f*** that place up too. Until the behavior changes, they can stay the hell home.

  27. CurbRunner says:

    A lot of attempts at constructing teen curfew laws in public places have, over the past years, failed court tests when appealed.
    Just funneling kids out of a mall will most likely only transfer their negative behavior to the streets where other merchants will take the hits.

  28. synergy says:

    “It’s best they stick to the rickety barn, the derelict mine shaft, and the defunct mill.”

    Survival of the fittest baby! I’m all for it!

  29. darkclawsofchaos says:

    Where do I fall? I’m 19, so I’m both a teenager and an adult, also 18 year olds are both.

  30. Parting says:

    Isn’t that discrimination based on age? Lawsuit, anybody?

  31. Parting says:

    Just a suggestion : give teens’ parents a fine, every time he or she disrupts ”peace” at the mall.

    Once the teen gets grounded couple of times, his behavior should be more acceptable in public.

  32. DallasDMD says:

    @chouchou: Its rather common for cities to have curfews for minors.

  33. BoorRichard says:

    I’ve been to this mall and yeah, they have a problem not with groups of teens but with herds and flocks of teens. And the stores there are like Brooks Brothers.

  34. dantsea says:

    @chouchou: Age discrimination is typically a labor issue, and the laws are generally written and/or enforced with a minimum age of 40.

    As for fines, it bears repeating that the mall isn’t a babysitter.

  35. rubberkeyhole says:

    Teens can’t go to the mall!?!?! Oh no what shall they do?!

    STUDY TO GET INTO A GOOD SCHOOL.

    What is HAPPENING to this country?! Values have shifted from education to consumerism and it’s just frightening.

  36. spookyooky says:

    @Zombietime: The internet, just like all the other creepy old men!

  37. SexCpotatoes says:

    simple solution: do nothing, take it in the neck (more polite than saying up the arse)

    more complicated solution: exercise your “constitutional rights” and get arrested. Organize a massive sit in. Get every teenager and young adult from all 126 (made up number) area high schools and junior highs to congregate with a coordinated attack at 4pm or some such time. (after all schools have let out to cause maximum congregation) Then refuse to leave, most sheep won’t do it, but plenty of people would show up to see if it was going to go off, etc, adding to the number of teens around. Of course that’s just me, having helped execute my best friend in H.S., Shaun Brown’s idea of having a walk-out.

    Got many of the changes that were called for in the underground newspaper (such as; tardy policy changed from 3 per year to 3 per semester [the in school suspension was moved to the auditorium and the absence list, which also listed ISS students grew to 3 pages because it made no difference; tardy to class, or tardy to school 3 X= suspension], and putting stall doors in the boys’ restrooms [a pretty big thing if you think about it]). Even though the administration said “walking out won’t change anything” in the local paper.

    I got 10 days out of school suspension for circulating the “underground newspaper” (but to be fair, it was typed on school equipment, and computer lab paper). The funniest thing was that my first day back from suspension would’ve been Good Friday, all those days off plus weekends plus Easter Vacation amounted to about a month off of school. My parents supported me all the way through it (without being snotty ‘my kid can do no wrong’ types, and especially catching onto the administration’s lies), and I got my name in the paper a couple times. I also got to make up ALL my class and homework by appealing to the school board due to another thing I had pointed out in the underground newspaper (that the sports members were allowed to make up work when they were suspended out of school, but everyone was supposed to fail the work they missed).

    Sorry about the rant there.

    These kids are your future caretakers. Most of them aren’t that bad, sure they digitally “steal” music and movies and such (even all those they already own!), but you do too. Get to know them, teach them about the evils of credit cards or something. Okay, after-school special over.

  38. SexCpotatoes says:

    whoops, and I understand that “constitutional rights” don’t apply in the mall which is “private property”

  39. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    OK, it’s like this. An individual does something wrong. Another individual does it too. Time goes by and some other individuals do it. The numbnuts think, “Oh, what could be causing this?” They look for something in commmon. “Whoa, look, most of them are between the ages of 13 and 18, except for the ones who aren’t.” “Perfect, we can do stuff to that age group we can’t do to other age groups.”

    Because, naturally, all teenagers steal, fight, and ruin things. And all over-18s don’t. Right?

    Whatever. Going to have coffee now. Glad I don’t bother with malls anymore.

  40. louisb3 says:

    @DallasDMD: How commone is rather common? Are there any major American cities that do this?

  41. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @louisb3: From the Houston Chronicle back in May, when they last tightened the (existing) rules:

    Nights got a little shorter for most teenagers following changes to the city’s curfew passed Wednesday.
    Children under 17 must be off the streets by 11 p.m. on weeknights instead of the previous midnight rule, under revisions to the curfew ordinance approved by the City Council. It takes effect immediately.
    “On school nights, you should be at home asleep and doing your schoolwork,” said Mayor Bill White. “Unless you’re working or working on some sort of school project, you don’t need to be running around on the streets after 11 o’clock.”
    The ordinance includes existing exceptions for teenagers who are accompanied by a parent, traveling to work, participating in events sponsored by a school, government, church group or sports organization, or involved in an emergency.
    All others now are prohibited from being on the streets after 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends, including during summer months when school is not in session.
    The previous curfew had been in place since 1991 and applied to children under 18, setting the deadline at midnight every night.
    The midnight curfew still stands on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as on the eve of holidays.

    Several parents said they support the new rules, though most said they preferred the law also apply to 17-year-olds.

    “I think it’s awesome that they’re getting strict on these kids,” said Jody Wilding, a Meyerland resident who has a 16-year-old son. “They have no business being out at 11 o’clock on a school night, I don’t care how old they are.”
    The city’s curfew ordinance includes daytime restrictions when school is in session, requiring children under 17 to be off the streets from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The council made no changes to that rule.

    So, yeah, BIG cities.

  42. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    I think twice about visiting the mall sometimes because I know I will have to deal with hundreds of annoying junior high schooolers, HOWEVER, I must say that there really isn’t anything better to do in the suburbs.

  43. dirtymoney says:

    Back in the day (10 years or so ago) I HATED going to mall because of all the throngs of teens just hanging out in large groups. And when they’d walk 3 or 4 people abreast they often blocked the walkways. I dreaded going to the malls because of this. Too bad they didnt start banning teens back then.

    But nowadays most of the malls have died out & I really dont see much of a reason for me to go to the ones that are still open.

  44. bdgbill says:

    I am a legitimate paying shopper and I can say without a doubt that packs of teenagers turn me away from the mall.

    As to those who say security should deal with the unruly teens and leave the well mannered ones alone: This is not so easy these days. Any enforcement can be interpreted as racisim, ageism or a variety of other “isms”. Much easier to enact an “everyone” loses policy.

  45. Youthier says:

    The mall I frequent is always full of teenagers but the teenagers are in 10 deep lines to the register, pouring out of Abercrombie, Hollister, American Eagle, and Sephora.

    I imagine the curfews are brought up and/or approved by the merchants, who would know whether banning teenagers is going to help or harm their business.

  46. Where I live now and the last place I lived are pretty similar in size, racial makeup, poverty, violence, gangs, etc. Where I live now actually has more teen violence problems.

    But the LAST place I lived they had curfews and “large herds forbidden” rules for teenagers at the mall and it seemed necessary, because it was awful. Even with the rules in place, you routinely felt threatened. Or actually got threatened.

    Where I live now, basically same demographic, lots of teens at the mall …… no problems. Sure, they’re boisterous and periodically stupid, but that’s the worst of it, and they’re mostly more or less polite.

    I’d be really curious to know what accounts for the difference in mall behavior!

  47. Canadian Impostor says:

    I thought the only point to the mall was for teens to hang out somewhere. I’m 23 and never go to the mall because I can’t think of anything more painful to do, based on the huge crowds and bland stores.

  48. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Sounds like a great idea! Teenagers who don’t hangout in malls grow up to be adults that don’t hang out in malls.

  49. zibby says:

    Hell, when I was a teenager we hung out in graveyards and gravel pits – the malls wouldn’t let us bring cases of Piels in.

  50. floydianslip6 says:

    Wow! This country is really shaping up into something great! Constitutional rights abound, freedom everywhere, INNOCENT until proven guilty?

    It’s much better policy to treat everyone like a criminal or hooligan, that way they’ll have nice, strong, negative reinforcement.

    Yippie!

  51. Snakeophelia says:

    Where I grew up, the malls were teen-free because someone had the foresight to open a giant arcade with a crummy theater attached to it. That place was PACKED with kids from age 10 to 19 just about every night. No adult was ever there, because who but a teenager would want to (as I did) play Galaga and Centipede from 8 pm to midnight and then go see The Texas Chainshow Massacre? It was great. I would have hated to work security in that place, but it was great.

  52. ogman says:

    People get shot in malls, and usually by some teenager who is part of a gang. Reality sucks. We’re not allowed to enforce laws anymore (without nonsensical cries of racism) so now the malls will have to move potential offenders out before anything happens. Malls that have taken no action are now closed. Such is life in the lawless USA.

  53. ogman says:

    @SexCpotatoes: “These kids are your future caretakers.”

    That’s the scariest thought I’ve read in a long time. I’ll work very hard to see to it that I am NEVER taken care of by most of the little sociopaths I see running around my local mall!

  54. fluiddruid says:

    @floydianslip6: So I should just be able to come into your house, go through your stuff, because of the Constitution? Malls are private property. While I agree that we need to have activities and places for teens, malls are not obliged to provide them for free at the cost of legitimate business.

  55. floydianslip6 says:

    @fluiddruid: I completely agree with you. However, how is a solution of treating every teen in a mall as a loiterer or “gang member” a good one?

    Aside from that, the whole situation reeks of where our society is going from a parental standpoint.

    I suppose my larger concern is that by setting the standard for behavior so low, it’s inviting problems. Catering to least common denominator produces more and more of the same.

    As for your home invasion argument, private sector homes and stores are not private property in the same vein. You know this.

  56. matdevdug says:

    Wow, thanks everybody. Speaking from the 18-25 population, I do appreciate being spoken about as if I am ready to kill any old lady that interrupts my walk in the mall as I attempt to score more drugs. Now, mind you, I still get 10 credit card offers a week and I am not even out of college, but please, kick me out of the mall. I guess your generation only wants my money when it doesn’t have to talk to me.

    However, don’t worry about my generation. We will be too busy paying back the immense amount of debt you threw on us and working our asses off as you all attempt to cash in on the medical systems you refused to fix to be doing anything crazy. Thanks for not approving child health care, getting us into Iraq and not attempting to really stop it, all of it. Oh, and thanks for making my currency so worthless that other countries mock it. Way to build on your parents success right?

    Your children thank you for everything. Keep your fucking malls. We’ll just get our music and movies from the internet.

  57. toddkravos says:

    Being a Cleveland resident, this is a pretty hot topic here.

    One thing the decision makers forgot all about which is pretty important and doesn’t even get mentioned ANYWHERE….

    Cleveland City Schools make use of the regions public transit system, RTA, to bus kids around to/from schools
    Why the hell would they do that? Well, because the schools can’t manage money worth a damn so traditional buses are
    nill. Anyone who lives here knows that the Cleveland Public Schools are in terrible shape; fiscally or otherwise.

    Back in the day, this location, Tower City (Terminal Tower) was Cleveland’s “Grand Central Station” for the trains

    Tower City (where the mall is also located) is a large bus stop for these kids FORCED to ride the RTA.
    Tower City was chosen as a stop for these kids because of it’s location and it’s public access and it also gave kids
    a safe place to wait for a connecting bus.

    So, while waiting for these buses, the kids would go in the mall to kill time and .. well be kids…
    Now, this is no longer allowed and the kids have to stand out in the cold.

    Cleveland’s winters can be quite harsh.

    While the few may have ruined it for majority of kids, this is was a terrible decision on the part of Tower City Management.

    The fact it’s being supported so much is quite saddening.

    I’ve heard a few folks refer to it as ‘selective racisim” because a large majority of the kids affected by this ‘new rule’ are of color.

    IMHO, it’s just another thing for Cleveland to be laughed at about by the rest of the nation.

  58. zibby says:

    @Snakeophelia: They have a complex like that in New Rochelle. Results have been less than stellar…the place is as much a magnet for idiots as it is a pacifier.

  59. VnlaThndr775 says:

    Thank goodness I can still go to the mall because I am not afraid of teenagers. Don’t today’s teens know that you are supposed to find out which of your friends’ parents is the most lackadaisical(sp?) about teenage drinking, pot smoking, etc., and then you just spend all your time over there? That or find the friend whose parents are never home. Between the friend whose mom worked nights at Walmart and the friend whose mom was out of town every weekend for antique shows, the mall was the last place you would find me as a teenager. We tried the abondoned quarry, railroad trestle, old mill method, but that led to getting busted by the cops and we lost a few good bongs that way. Now as an adult I am happy to be able to break the law in the privacy of my own home!

  60. zibby says:

    @matdevdug: Oh, hey – at least you’ll miss social security and all that by a lot. For me it looks like the spigot’s gonna go off about 5-7 years before I’m chugging Metamucil. Talk about a burn…

  61. Trai_Dep says:

    Just love how the commenters say that when they were kids they hung out like these kids do, but now “things are different” and want to shunt kids off to work camps or whatever. Geez, I wonder where kids learn the meaning of “hypocracy” from?

  62. ElizabethD says:

    Profiling rules, kids. How about the malls deal with the PROBLEM teens, not the majority who go to shop, have a meal or snack, see a movie?

    This isn’t rocket science. More mature security personnel who are highly visible and take the initiative to nip problems in the bud. Maybe a mall “street team” of teen-friendly ambassadors who interact and hand out coupons for discounts or deals, and help to keep groups moving along… and win/win for shoppers and stores.

  63. dman928 says:

    To those of you mentioning that the mall is “Private Property”, you are technically incorrect. A mall is considered a place of “Public Accommodation”. Therefore private property rules do not apply.

  64. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @ElizabethD: Mature (ho, ho), initiative-taking (hee, hee, hee), friendly (bwahahaha) security personnel? (WAHAHAHAHAHA…)

  65. humphrmi says:

    @chouchou: I don’t let 19 year olds into my house. You gonna sue me?

    Go back to law school.

  66. Daveed says:

    I have to say this: FASCISTS. Now that I got the hyperbole out of my system.

    What’s wrong with kids being at malls? I’m sure they buy things every once in a while, and if they break the law then you bust them for it like everyone else…I don’t see the reason for this at all.

    There’s just very little trouble you can get into in the mall, so let them hang out.

  67. fluiddruid says:

    @floydianslip6: Whether something is a good idea or unconstitutional are totally different questions. Regardless, the property owners of the mall and the store owners who pay their rent are not free babysitters. Whether it’s a private home or a store, they have the right to determine who is there. You can say it’s unfair or bad business, and it may well be, but your right is then not to support those stores with your business.

  68. smitty1123 says:

    Heh, I soooo didn’t have this problem growing up (the nearest mall was 50 miles away).

  69. mandarin says:

    In the 90′s , a lot of kids stay in school in China till past their school hours. Sometimes even at 9pm. Nothing to do at home and not willing to spend money in the malls…

  70. Geekybiker says:

    I have to say I purposely avoid places that have packs of bored teenagers hanging out at them. I’m not “threatened” but more often than not they are obnoxious and disruptive. If there is another choice, I’ll avoid them. Malls want people who actually have money to spend like me, so chasing teens away is really in their best interest.

  71. prjktdtnt says:

    Amazing. I was a teenager myself until April of this year. I didn’t particularly enjoy skateboarding but I did fancy BMX and mall cruising. In my area there was very little to do, if you didn’t have money, until about two years ago when they finally got wise that a public skatepark would save on the amount of damage by skaters, bladers and bmxers, go figure, to public buildings.

    Unless there is underlying gang issues in the area that aren’t being reported, there needs to be alternatives. To come back to my original comparison about the skatepark. We had begged the city for years to build one. They continued to say that it would be too expensive, no-one would support it, etc. The problem was that everywhere we rode at the time was starting to put up signs and cops started to hastle us. Finally we got parents involved and life started to look up.

  72. If the teens are being violent enough to justify banning them all from the mall then that city has a problem too big for a curfew to fix.

  73. floydianslip6 says:

    @fluiddruid: That’s true, but just because your on private property doesn’t necessarily toss away all your constitutional rights either.

    There has to be some middle ground between enforcing a blanket regulation on innocent teens, and dealing with disruption.

  74. Buran says:

    When I was a teenager I was a lot better-behaved than a lot of “adults” were at the time. I would have made a public point of never spending a dime at a place that decided to arbitrarily judge me about something they were obviously clueless about.

    Let these jerks lose their shirts from some of their best customers because they can’t stop being judgmental long enough to get their heads out of their asses.

    Sure, throw out people who are misbehaving. But only those who do. Leave those who are polite and make no trouble ALONE.

  75. chrishuch says:

    I am very surprised about peoples reactions here. Especially the ones that are on the “its private property they can decide who they want to have” side of the argument. I just cant understand why people would want to spent their time in such a restrictive environment. But maybe its because I’m European and we don’t have any heavily enforced mall laws here.
    Personally I would definitely avoid a mall where my teenage child is not allowed to go by himself.

  76. MarkMadsen'sDanceInstructor says:

    I have to say that I’m all for strict curfews on teenagers milling through the mall aimlessly. I understand that there are fewer places for teenagers to congregate in public, but why do they have to congregate in public?

    When I was a teen, we would always go and hang out at one another’s homes. I personally think that would be a better environment for them to congregate. Moreover, I personally think its better that they stay at home and save money rather than be tempted to waste their own or their parents’ money on overpriced mall food or arcades.

  77. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Jeff from LA: Because, you idiot, when people congregate, that is the definition of “public.”

  78. floydianslip6 says:

    @Jeff from LA: I don’t think anyone is for people aimlessly loitering. The problem is we’re deferring PARENTING responsibilities to a mall.

    If you don’t want your kids hanging at a mall, tell them to come home, don’t pass some kind of “mall law” or ordinance.

    I think the same goes for town curfews, it’s increasingly becoming the TVs, the music industries, and the law makers jobs to parent our children. What gives? I didn’t need the mall or my town to impose a curfew on me, my PARENTS did that.

    Perhaps it’s not clear from all these posting I’m a libertarian?

    The problem isn’t with the kids, it’s with the parents.

  79. mattindustries says:

    I think this ordinance is insane, and no I am not a teenager, and haven’t been one for years. Teens have no bills and unlimited funds practically from parents. They are banning a large portion of their customers. The stores inside the mall can’t be happy with this.

  80. humphrmi says:

    @floydianslip6:

    That’s true, but just because your on private property doesn’t necessarily toss away all your constitutional rights either.

    Uh, actually, it does. Go back to law school.

  81. N0TY0U says:

    As a Clevelander who, at one time, liked going to said mall, I can say this is actually a good thing. All that crap about teen rights, blah blah blah. Don’t waste your breath.
    When I took my wife there to go Christmas shopping last year and two teen guys near us were settling their differences in a polite and civilized manner. NOPE. They were duking it out and almost knocked my wife down. This wasn’t in an obscure corner of the building either.
    If a nice place is run into the ground by a bunch of kids who don’t know better then someone else will have to make decisions for them, such as leaving in the afternoon.
    No, I’m not an old guy; I’m in my twenties. And no, I’m not a pansy; I actually get too violent too quickly most times. But, dammit, learn how to act, fools!

  82. cuiusquemodi says:

    @humphrmi: Well, no, you do not give up all your constitutional rights when you go on private property. If you did, then it would be perfectly acceptable to sell unaccompanied teens into slavery.

  83. UpsetPanda says:

    A few years ago, I was visiting someone and we went to the mall to do some shopping. He pointed out the spot in the food court where someone had been shot and thrown off the balcony of the second floor. I was absolutely horrified, not only that something like that happened, but also because people were milling about as if it wasn’t even a big deal that someone had been SHOT a week earlier. Bottom line, when it comes to trouble, it will go where the troublemakers go. If the troublemakers go to the mall, their problems follow. Is it okay? Not at all. Is imposing a curfew the answer? No, because blanket statements about teenage behavior is wrong.

    If I was a teen who didn’t cause problems for anyone, and was either a legitimate shopper or was just with one friend, I would be peeved too. Why should I suffer for the behavior of annoying people?

    As an adult, I never notice the nice, respectable kids at the mall. I do, however, always notice the annoying ones who are not looking where they are going, and who are talking loudly and are hogging the entire mall space. I also notice the ones who aren’t there for a specific need, they are just there to loiter and “hang out.” In a lot of areas, this means gang activity. In my mall, it meant you were just obnoxious.

  84. floydianslip6 says:

    @humphrmi:

    Try again, it’s a complicated issue.

    Robins v. Pruneyard Shopping Center
    and likewise
    Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins

    Both the mall and the people in it have rights, the question is which carries more weight in a given situation. Largely it falls in the states lap.

    In general you’re right, but in the case of a mall or shopping plaza where it’s OPEN TO THE PUBLIC the line becomes blurred.

    So maybe next time, you could contribute to the conversation like an adult?

  85. XTC46 says:

    @mattindustries: thats what I was thinking. When I was a teen (only a few years ago) I had a full time job an no bills. I had well over a thousand dollars a month of disposable income, and as a stupid kid as i was I didn’t save a dime. I had a lot of friends in the same boat and it wasnt rare that we would get bored, hit the mall and buy whatever would entertain us that afternoon (bought a xbox with 4 controllers and some games because it was raining out and we were bored, bought an electric guitar one after noon because I thought it would be fun to learn, bought a 500 dollar watch because I got sick of not knowing what time it was, etc) and that was in the span of like 3 months. Kids are stupid with money, give them a place to spend it.

    I bet they change this rule within a few months. And how will this affect their cheap mall labor?

  86. StormyBkln says:

    @matdevdug:

    Hey, you should be thanking the malls that prevent you from going there with your 10 credit card offers a week. Let’s see, you get 10 CC offers a week, and you’re in college. Let’s face it, what teenager can resist “free” money. CC companies know that you will bury yourself in debt before you even have a real job to pay them off, so you basically become enslaved to them for the rest of your life. Now the malls prevent you from going there without guidance, so you can’t spend this borrowed money, thereby preventing a life of indentured servitude to the powers that be, working every waking hour to pay off the high interest debt you’ve accrued as a teenager.
    Think of it as a public service.

  87. floydianslip6 says:

    ^ hehehe

  88. humphrmi says:

    @cuiusquemodi: That topic is covered by state and federal laws on private property, not the constitution. The constitution only applies to the relationship between you and the government, not private parties.

    Again, go back to law school.

  89. dirk1965 says:

    This okay only to a certain extent. This should apply to teens that are too young to drive that parents just drop them off. If they have legitimate business at the mall, the parent should accompany them. No parent is THAT busy. As for the teens that have a drivers license, they should be able to do as they please. Usually, if a teen is old enough to drive, they aren’t going to be at some freek’in mall.

  90. UpsetPanda says:

    @xtc46: I’m guessing that unless you had a job at the mall, you weren’t allowed to be in it…now, this actually works in the mall’s favor, as if the only way to be in the mall after the curfew was to get a job, heck, get a job at the mall at your favorite store, get a discount AND money to spend on stuff, and when you have breaks or when you get off, go buy what you want.

  91. No parent is THAT busy.

    @dirk1965: You’re kidding, right?

  92. edwardso says:

    After a someone was murdered in the mall in my hometown, it became was teenager-free on the weekends after 6pm. Many people were afraid to go to the mall due to throngs of teenagers hanging out around the escalators and stairs. There was relatively little outcry from the community.

  93. nardo218 says:

    @morganlh85: Seriously. I had more money to spend on crap when I was sixteen than I do now, ten years later. I was also in a suburb with nothing to do on sat nights except the movies and the mall, and we bought overpriced tshirts and Auntie Anne’s pretzels.

  94. dantsea says:

    So we have the merchants screaming Do Something at the mall management, the teens screaming It’s Too Much at the mall management. I wonder what the police are screaming at the mall management? From the article:

    In February 2004, four police agencies were called to the mall to quell a disturbance after a fight between two girls in the center’s movie theater escalated into what authorities called a “riot” involving hundreds of 13- to 16-year-olds.

    And that’s just one incident. Police are a little cranky when it comes to repeat calls for big disturbances, and there comes a time when they finally say “enough is enough” and push for businesses to be labeled as public nuisances and be closed down.

    Closing down a mall would probably be impractical. But I bet someone in mall management got a call or two from the city “suggesting” certain changes in the mall’s admittance policy before new construction permits or vital roadwork around the mall’s perimiter was allowed to happen.

    On the legal end? I’ll reserve judgment until a lawsuit actually happens. Not seeing the free speech or assembly angles here. I’m guessing the ACLU doesn’t, either as something like this would be high-profile enough for them to start blasting press releases at media outlets. Maybe all those teens with their awesome spending power can pool their resources and pay the retainer?

    Oh yeah, and the article has the last word on all that unlimited disposable income from the kids:

    …many mall managers are concluding that it’s worth the loss of vitality and sales from younger visitors to lure back adults and out-of-towners who may be intimidated by loud groups of teenagers.

    “The centers that have done this are really seeing their centers go up, and they’re seeing more families wanting to come back.”

  95. dirk1965 says:

    Rectilinear… Yes, I am serious. If a parent can’t spent a lousy hour with their kid to go into a mall to shop for whatever they need… they shouldn’t be parents. I take it that you THINK you are too busy to take time out for your own kid???

  96. Primate says:

    @Pylon83:
    They don’t need anywhere else to go. When I was a kid I didn’t hang out at the mall. I hung out with my friends outside. We played soccer, or baseball, or even football in the street or in someones backyard. Or sometimes we just hung out talking about stuff. We never went to the mall…

  97. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    Ya know, having gone to Tower City when it first opened as “The Avenue at Tower City Center”, and having it go to the wayside ever since, I can say that it isn’t the teens that are killing the downtown mall, but rather the poor choices that have been plaguing it. Whoever thought that you’d put upteen number of airbrush on t-shirt shops, dollar stores and fake hair extention shops in a place that houses a fine eateries like Morton’s and Hyde Park, as well as two exceptional hotels, such as Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance?

    At the mall in question, the only real revenue that would/could be generated are by the teens, seeing as a majority of the shops are catered for them (Sports shops and LVL X, and Charlotte Russe, anyone?) Add that the Cleveland Cinemas are a pigsty that only rowdy kids would go to watch a movie, and we have another Randall Park Mall disaster waiting to happen.

    They did, afterall, kill their mall with a similar method a decade or so back…

    Way to kill Cleveland that much more… (At least our teams are finally becoming more decent – *KNOCK ON WOOD*)

  98. kragshot says:

    When I was that age, there were things for me to do, so I did not have to hang out at the mall. There were real afterschool activities (not just clubs), like dances, haunted houses, and socials. There were also youth centers, businesses, and other social programs designed to help young teens to expend their natural “energy” in creative or non-destructive ways.

    But politicians have deemed such programs as “pork,” and businesses are far less community-minded as they were in the past. Our national policy is one of finger pointing rather than problem solving. Rather than address the problems plaguing our children, we have chose to demonize them. Our actions have taken the normal flames of teen angst and turned them into an inferno.

    Thus we have reaped what we have sown. We have a crop of young people who do not respect property, not to mention themselves.

    Expect to see further problems crop up in this community real soon in the news….

  99. Anonymous says:

    This rule is stupid.

    If you live anywhere like mine, you’ll see that the only place that can be hung out in is the mall.

    Despite what you think, teens do spend alot of money in malls. If not on merchandise, it’s on food and drinks. Without teens, some key stores may go bankrupt. The movie theature in the mall next to our school mostly gets profits from teens rather from adults.

    Grow up people. Teens may loiter, but they’re not being that disruptive. If you want them to leave, build an arcade or a skatepark beside the mall or something. Root out the really rowdy ones and ban them. Not all teens act like that.

    Okay, 2:30? Do you want teens to not shop at the mall at all? Most teens aren’t even out of school by then.

    Completely unreasonable.

  100. Anonymous says:

    This is stupid. sometimes the malls are the only places to hang out that is not at home. I mean what teenager wants to hang out at home all the time with their parents breething down their neck? also if it is too cold for an ouside activity the mall is the only place left.
    people just don’t think about what there is for teens to do. Most places are either for people 18 years of age and older, or for 10 year olds and younger. the people inbetween just get left behind. None of these problems would happen if there was a lot of places for teens to go too.
    But untill then… stop treating them like pests and maybe things will change.