Gastonia Mall Considers Banning Teenagers Without Adult

GASTONIA, N.C. (WCNC) -- Eastridge Mall in Gastonia is taking an unconventional approach in deciding whether to allow teens on the property without a chaperone in the future.

Mall management recently took to social media asking teens to spread the word about a looming decision on the way.

Mall security also began passing out flyers detailing the type of behavior they expect to see from teens.

The post read: "Some groups of teens and young adults are visiting the mall and they are about to ruin it for everyone."

It goes on to say: "We really don't want to impose new rules. If we do, it means you won't be able to come here without an adult over the age of 21, anytime day or night."

"What happening is they come here and they act like teenagers. They get a little out of hand because they don't have an adult with them. Their language is not always appropriate for families, and the running is definitely a problem," said General Manager Cris Bremner.

The expectations include:

1. Be nice to everyone and everything.

2. No running.

3. No yelling, No bad language.

4. Don't steal.

"The goal is together, especially with social media, that they can all talk to each other and say, listen we like going to the mall, and we are not allowed to go there unless we start following the rules," she said.

Eastridge came under new management last September. This month, management hired a new security firm to aggressively weed out troublemakers and restore the 'family' atmosphere they seek.

"I think it is a good idea," said parent Shannon Goad, who has a teenage son. "For myself I don't let my children come out by themselves, I'd rather be with them so I know what they are doing," she said.

The new policy will take effect April 11th if it's determined there is no noticeable difference in behavior.

"I don't like it, cause it is not fair," said McKenna Roseberry.

"At school if one kid is acting up, they don't punish the whole classroom, that one student gets sent out," she said.

Meshiach Arnold, 18, believes the changes would deter some teens from coming to the mall.

"People come here to have fun, nobody would want to walk around with an older adult," he said.

Bremner says the mall is private property and they must look out for the safety of customers and store employees.

Ultimately, they do not want to resort to imposing such rules, and hope teens react in a positive way.


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