Christiana Mall to require chaperones

June 18, 2008 4:14:14 PM PDT
Some people call them mall rats...teenagers who roam and socialize more than shop...a growing trend that's about to stop at the Christiana Mall where an adult escort policy will soon be enforced on Friday and Saturday nights. Starting July 11th teenagers will be met at the door by a security guard. Those without an adult will be turned away. Those who are 18 will have to wear a wrist band while they shop. "If you do have a parent or a guardian with you over 21, you can come in and shop, but you'll just have to stay with the adult you came in with," said mall spokesman Steve Chambliss.

Some teens are understandably upset.

"I'm 17 and graduated from high school and I don't want to be walking around in the mall with my dad on Friday and Saturday night. I mean I might want to talk to girls and my dad tagging along, that's not a good look," said Arshon Howard.

But some shoppers say the mall looks bad because of unruly teens. Police are often called upon, and last summer the mall even had to close early following a major food fight. "It's really difficult. There are just so many kids around and unchaperoned. It's just really hard shopping and getting around," said Linda Collins of Newark, Delaware.

The Christiana Mall will join 54 other malls around the country with escort policies or curfews...rules that are getting mixed reviews among teens.

"I think it's unfair because if they behave responsibly then they should be allowed," says 15-year old McKenzie Knox. But 14-year old Elizabeth Collins says "I think it's good. I think it's good for safety reasons."

Instead of staying home this teenager has an idea: "I'll just bring my mom. My mom will like that she can go shopping with me," said 16-year old Amanda Silver. That's an idea mall officials approve of, especially if mom buys while she shops.