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


April 15, 2023 | 15:47

New Jersey cracks down on ‘mall’-adjusted teenagers.

Garden State Plaza Mall will require guests under 1[ads1]8 to be accompanied by a chaperone 21 or older on weekend nights in response to a wave of TikTok-fueled mayhem.

The policy will begin April 28 and will be in effect after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, according to mall officials who said the goal was to stop unruly behavior.

“We’ve seen an increase in large numbers of teenagers, mainly young adults. … The teens are not only enjoying the property in terms of shopping, dining and entertainment,” Wesley Rebisz, senior general manager at Garden State Plaza, told

“They are unruly, breaking the policies, which can include driving through the property in large groups, fighting and putting it on TikTok, basically disrupting the business and making it uncomfortable for our everyday customers.”

Police and security guards will be stationed at the entrance to the mall to check IDs, and anyone who refuses will reportedly be asked to leave the mall.

“If something tries to start escalating a little bit, we have a police officer on top of it to de-escalate,” said Dan Cenedy, senior vice president of security operations at Garden State Plaza Mall’s parent company. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.

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

Reactions to the new policy have been mixed.

“As a teacher, I feel like students have to, I mean, students, kids, everybody has to have supervision,” shopper Jasmine Mark told CBS News. “I think when they’re here alone they usually get into trouble, so I think they should come with a parent.”

Others scoffed at the new rule.

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

“I can see why they did it, but I mean, I don’t really think it’s like that … They shouldn’t be enforcing it,” Brightwell added.

Garden State Plaza, the second largest mall in New Jersey, is not the first mall to place restrictions on unaccompanied minors.

A complex in Columbia, Maryland, instituted a similar policy last month citing disturbances from teenagers, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Malls in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have also followed suit.

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