The Valley View Mall in Roanoke, Va., put in a teen escort policy earlier this summer, adding to the growing list of properties that are now regulating when teens can and can't be there. (At last count, there were about 50 malls that now had such curfews in place, with the vast majority adding them in the past two years).
But, perhaps as an olive branch, the mall also hosted a "teen night" recently.
There was some speculation among teens and others that the mall was hosting the event to alleviate tension over the teen escort policy put in place earlier this summer.
But Ashley Likens, the mall's marketing director, said the event was planned to give teens a chance to get their minds off school and have fun. She said the teen night is not a response to the policy, which prevents teens younger than 18 to be at the mall after 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays unless they have a parent or guardian escort them.
The policy doesn't apply to anchor stores, such as Macy's or J.C. Penney, as long as teens enter those stores through the outside doors.
The policy was one reason 13-year-old Shelby Carter was thankful for the teen night.
"Teenagers need a night to come shopping," the Breckenridge Middle School student said.
For previous entries on mall curfews:
- August 29, Forget Curfews, Try Mosquitos
- August 20, Perhaps This is Why Curfews are on the Rise
- August 17, Mayfair Mall Scales Back Curfew
- July 26, The Curfew Bandwagon Expands
- June 29, Another Take on Mall Curfews
- May 25, Monitoring Mallrats
- May 22, Heard on the Floor
- April 25, More on Curfews
- April 5, Everyone's Noticing Mall Curfews
Retail Traffic also reported on the issue in March.