June 1, 2023

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Garden State Plaza Mall requires escorts for children under 18 years of age

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April 15, 2023 | 3:47 p.m

New Jersey cracks down on teen mods from “shopping malls”.

The Garden State Plaza Mall will require patrons under the age of 18 to be accompanied by a chaperone 21 or older on weekend nights in response to a wave of TikTok-fueled chaos.

The policy will begin April 28 and will be in effect after 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, according to mall officials who said the goal was to crack down on disorderly behavior.

“We’ve seen an increase in large crowds of teens, especially juveniles. … Teens don’t just enjoy the property in shopping, dining, and entertainment,” Wesley Ribbes, senior general manager at Garden State Plaza, said. Tell NorthJersey.com.

“They are undisciplined, violating codes of conduct, which can include running across property in large groups, fighting and putting it on TikTok, essentially disrupting the business and making it uncomfortable for our everyday customers.”

Mall officials said police and security guards will be stationed at the mall entrance to check IDs, and anyone who refuses to leave will be asked to leave.

“In case something tries to start to escalate a little bit, we have a police officer right there at the helm to de-escalate,” said Dan Senedy, senior vice president of security operations for parent company Garden State Plaza Mall. Unibel Rodamco Westfield.

A fight at the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus on March 11.
Kyle Mazza/NoorPhoto/Shutterstock

Reactions to the new policy were mixed.

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“As a teacher, I feel that students need, I mean students and children, everyone needs supervision,” said shopper Jasmine Mark. he told CBS News. “I think when they are here on their own they usually get into trouble, so I think they should come with a parent.”

Others derided the new rule.

“Children should deserve this freedom, do you know what I mean?” said shopper Ali Brightwell. “I don’t think they need a guardian,”

Brightwell added, “I can see why they would do it, but I mean, I don’t think that’s really the case…they shouldn’t force it.”

Garden State Plaza, New Jersey’s second-largest shopping mall, isn’t the first shopping center to introduce restrictions on unaccompanied minors.

A congregation in Columbia, Maryland, instituted a similar policy last month, citing disturbances from teens Reported by The Baltimore Sun.

Malls in Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania did the same, too.


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