Over the Summer, on July 28, a curfew for teens began at East and West Towne mall. The curfew, restricting teens from being in the mall alone after 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, has made many teens upset. However, I see it as a necessary reprimand for misbehavior.
Most of the opposition I have heard has only been from teens. They claim it is a bad idea because the mall would lose money because they are losing teen customers at that time. However, if the mall is totally ready to lose that part of business, clearly teens are not spending enough to make a real impact on profit. The Wisconsin chapter of the ACLU has taken interest in fighting this case. The ACLU would likely not be successful in fighting this case because it is nothing new. Malls in Milwaukee and Minneapolis, as well as around the country, have put similar policies into place.
According to a Wisconsin State Journal article, in the first 6 months of 2014, 20 percent of calls to police from the mall were during the time that the curfew now is, which is only 13 percent of the time the mall is even open.
While, yes, not all teens shoplift, and not all shoplifters are teens, clearly those who made this policy found that the numbers were high enough that teens needed to be reprimanded.
I don’t like that after school on Friday I can no longer go over and grab dinner from the food court before I have to be back for a play, but I understand why. I can’t do it anymore because enough of my peers have misbehaved. While I find it unfair that one person’s wrongdoings affect an entire group of people, it is not simply one person doing wrong. A large number from the teen demographic has been causing problems, meaning it was only a matter of time until a policy like this was put in place for the benefit of the stores and other customers.
– Leah Vredenbregt
Categories: JMM Opinions