Teens organize Christiana Mall boycott

NEWARK, Del. - July 9, 2008 The mall was filled with teens today, but starting Friday shoppers under 18 won't be welcome after 5 p.m. unless they are accompanied by an adult.

That's when two teens plan to stop shopping at the Christiana Mall for good. The 17-year olds created a Facebook page urging teens to boycott the mall's escort policy by spending their money elsewhere.

So far, the site has received more than 700 hits.

"I never thought it would get this big," said Kristin Murison, one of the boycott organizers. She was a regular at the mall on weekends.

"I always went and bought something though. I never went and just loitered. I can do that at my house," she said.

"It's not fair that all of us should be punished for what other kids have done," said boycott organizer Amanda Birney.

The Facebook page has gotten the attention of mall managers. As for the teen boycott:

"We really aren't concerned. We think that our program is the best for all our shoppers," said mall spokesman Steve Chambliss.

Commonly called "mall rats," kids hanging out at malls have become a problem nationwide, with more than 50 malls implementing escort policies like the one soon to be enforced in Delaware.

At the very least, Kristin and Amanda hope the mall will lower the age restriction to 16. After all, they say, 16-year olds work in the mall.

"They're not even letting us, when we work, to go shopping. When we go on our breaks, we have to go get the food and come straight back. If they find us in the stores, we get kicked out," said 17-year old Matt McGilloway.

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