Letters To The Editor
By Grace Miron-Dominguez
Stratford High School
It’s a gloomy, rainy Saturday afternoon. There is a melancholy feeling in the air and you face the dreaded question, what will you do to cure your boredom? For many people, the answer is going to the mall. Shopping, food, movies, everything to create the perfect rainy day activity. But sometimes, people take the freedom of this attraction for granted, and that’s when bad things happen.
This was made clear when several fights over the past couple of years broke out at multiple malls (CT Post Mall, Westfield Trumbull Mall). As a result of these altercations, a policy has been instated that prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from entering the mall if unaccompanied by an adult over the age of 21 after 3 p.m Monday through Friday and after 1 p.m on Saturday and Sunday. I think this policy is unfair to retail stores, to teenagers, and to families.\
This policy will be bad for many businesses in the mall. Some stores mainly rely on the teenage demographic to buy their product because that is the age group that is the store’s target audience. However, after the policy was enacted, their financial standing will be at risk because now they are potentially losing business due to the regulation of teen attendance in the mall after 3:00.
Also, if it’s after 3 and a person looks to be unaccompanied by an adult and seems to be younger than 18, they could get asked for a form of identification and that could severely get in the way of transactions happening in the store, which also lowers the number of sales the store gets daily. After seeing how the policy affects the atmosphere of the mall, people aren’t going to want to go there anymore. So they will migrate and bring their business to another mall.
This policy is also unfair to the people who have done nothing wrong. Teenagers who don’t go to the mall and get into fights, but go to enjoy themselves. Even if a teenager has done nothing wrong, they still have to be punished for other people’s actions. Not everyone under 18 can find an adult to accompany them at the mall, which will prevent them from going at all.
For example, what if a single mom has more than 4 kids? Right now, the policy says that there has to be one adult for every four kids in a group. She could recruit someone to help, but it isn’t that easy, so what happens if she can’t find anyone. Going to the mall would seem like a chore rather than an activity of choice.
Additionally, I don’t think this policy will prevent altercations, but rather cause more of them. Just because a certain time of day is blocked off, doesn’t mean that teens can’t just go to the mall earlier in the day and fight then. It is a poorly thought out system that needs to be looked at again. Also, if a bystander is asked for identification, and the person doesn’t want to give it to the security official, this could lead to another situation or potential altercation that can be avoided. So really, the policy can add to the risk of fights breaking out.
This policy has many unseen effects on the business of the mall, and the people that enjoy going there. I love going to the mall, I am a teenager under the age of 18, and I have been taught how to act in public. This does affect me personally because it prevents me from going to the mall with my friends after 3 without adult supervision. I haven’t been affected by it yet because I’m lucky enough that I have an adult that can bring me, but it makes me think about all of the people who would love to go to the mall, but can’t find a person to bring them. I think this policy needs to be revised so that we can make the mall a place where people can come and enjoy themselves without worrying about when the next fight is going to break out.