Teens Have Rights Too

June 5, 2008
By Sidney Relyea, Schenectady, NY

A growing number of malls in the U.S. are turning away teenagers during evenings and nights unless they have an adult escort. Most malls apply this curfew only on Friday and Saturday nights, but some apply it every night.

I live in the suburbs, and the number one choice for kids to hang out at is the mall. There are about one thousand malls with this rule across the U.S., and most teenagers will tell you it is an unfair rule.

My friends and I like to shop, hang out and see movies at Crossgates Mall. However, on Friday and Saturday nights after 4 p.m., you won’t see me there unless I have an adult escort. I think that 4 p.m. is much too early. At this time it is still bright outside. I think that this law should be removed or at least have the time be later at night.

Mall owners apply this rule to make hallways, entrances, food courts and stores less crowded. Some adults are afraid and intimidated to go into stores with many teenagers in them. Mall owners don’t want to lose business so they made this rule. I know it is important to have many customers, but a lot of teenagers are there to shop, so they are losing business by keeping this rule.

They also keep this rule to prevent fights between teenagers. I think it is unfair that some teenagers that don’t fight have to be punished for others that do. I understand that the rule keeps the mall safe, but I think it would be better if this rule was gone. I think this because if they just have people to watch out for teens being dangerous and loud, then they can yell at them. This way the teens

that are behaving won’t have to leave the mall if they don’t have an escort.

Many adults like the idea of this rule because they are afraid to go to the mall alone when teenagers are there in groups. Many adults think that the teenagers have a loud behavior, but really only some do. When I’m at the
mall with my friends most teenagers are minding their own business not bothering anyone. This rule gives teenagers the reputation of being loud, annoying and dangerous. If there are teens that are misbehaving they should just be asked to leave so it’s fair to the teens that are behaving.

I think it’s really unfair that most kids don’t get to shop, see movies, eat, and hang out as late as adults can. I go to Farnsworth Middle School, and by the time I get off the bus it’s usually about 4 p.m. On a Friday night after school it is too late for my friends and me to go to the mall, which I think is unfair.

Should it really be a crime to be too young? Since when is staying up late a reason to get you arrested? Want to go shopping Friday after school? Oh wait, I can’t.

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