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Garden State Plaza Mall implementing chaperone policy for kids 17 and under

Garden State Plaza implements chaperone policy on weekend nights
Garden State Plaza implements chaperone policy on weekend nights 02:11

PARAMUS, N.J. -- Hanging out at the mall has been a teenage tradition for decades, but that's all about to change in one New Jersey City.

The Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus is banning minors on weekend nights unless they're with an adult.

The mall is implementing a new parental guidance policy. Kids 17 years and younger will have to have an adult chaperone on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. until close.

"I don't think it's appropriate for me to be in the mall with my 17-year-old child," mother Peggy Nwosu said.

"Kids should deserve that freedom, you know what I mean? I don't think they need a chaperone," shopper Ali Brightwell said.

According to mall officials and employees who didn't want to go on camera Friday, there has been an increase in unruly teens, large young crowds, fights and loitering, which has been disrupting businesses and making it uncomfortable for customers.

"I can understand. Every parent should talk to their kids to be respectful and appropriate when they're outside, but outside that, kids have to have fun and be kids," Nwosu said.

"I can see why they did it, but I mean, I don't think it's like really that... They shouldn't enforce it," Brightwell said.

Friday, CBS2 cameras captured mall security handing out the new parental guidance policy.

We're told when the policy goes into effect, security and police stationed at the mall will be checking the IDs of anyone suspected to be under 18, and if they can't provide one, they'll be asked to leave.

"That's ridiculous," one person said.

"As a teacher, I feel like students need to, I mean, students, kids, everybody needs to be supervised. I think that when they're here by themselves, they usually get in trouble, so I think that they should come with a parent," shopper Jasmine Mark said.

While shoppers have mixed emotions, mall officials say they will be getting the word out by signage in the mall and through school boards.

"They have to be at home at that time or if they are going to be out, they have to be, at that time, with Mom and Dad," mother Bella Alvarez said.

"I think parents should know what kids are doing," shopper Desirre Saab said.

The policy starts Friday, April 28. 

According to mall officials, those parental hours may change during the holiday season.

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