Saturday, June 15, 2024

Are Businesses Justified in Requiring Teen Supervisors to be Present?

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Letters to the Editor

By Gabe Lattanzi
Stratford High School

Over the past couple of years the Connecticut Post Mall has had periods, specifically during the holiday season, during which they require minors to be supervised by adults aged 21 and up for certain periods of the day.

These policies last around a month per year and are active from around 3 p.m. until the mall closing time. A lot of controversies have come up around these strict policies, stating that they are hurting the businesses within the mall, stereotyping and generalizing all teens/minors, and causing adults more trouble than required. Regardless of these claims, the mall has continued to implement these rules during the Christmas season.

These strict policies are specifically a response to the huge fights that have broken out several times in the mall during the holiday season. Fights involving over one hundred teens/young adults have caused quite a stir, and tainted the mall’s reputation. From personal experience, my own Mom hates whenever I go to that mall. She claims that it is a breeding ground for trouble, and how it is incredibly dangerous to go there. I never believed her until these fights started to become a normal thing, and now I stay far away from that place.

As for whether I agree with these policies or not, I absolutely agree. I work at the Connecticut Post Mall’s big brother — Westfield Trumbull, and I cannot say it is much better there in terms of crime/teen-related events. I am close with one of the security guards and I hear about everything that happens there, such as fights, theft, assault, robberies, etc. Most of the individuals committing these crimes are teens. In fact, out of everyone that comes into my store, the ones who cause all the trouble are teens. The only people I have caught or watched get caught stealing are teens. Forced supervision of all minors should not only be a requirement at the CT Post Mall, but every mall regardless. It would cut back on a lot of the crime, fights, and overall problems that occur.

This topic then brings up the bigger picture: should businesses be allowed to control who comes into their business on a larger scale? Sure, a lot of people agree on factors such as age, physical behavior (said person acting very violent or angry?), etc. But not everyone is so eager to agree on other factors, such as race, sexual preferences, religion, and physical ability. There seems to be a line people draw between these groups of factors, it just depends on where people draw it.

In my opinion, the line should be set after age and physical behavior. We have statistics that younger individuals aren’t as likely to be mature enough to behave in businesses, and violent/destructive individuals should be kept away from products, however one’s personal beliefs on other factors shouldn’t be able to discriminate against people.

For example, a baker shouldn’t be allowed to refuse to sell someone a cake just because it’s for a gay wedding, or a Christian-owned restaurant shouldn’t be able to refuse service to a Muslim individual because of their religion. This hatred for others has to be separated from understandable protection of one’s own business.

 

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