Friday, August 15, 2008

Scared of teenagers

It is an age old theme. People are scared to death of teenagers. In the 50s and 60s it was rock music that made so many unsettled. Then there was disco, which frankly, should leave people upset. In the 80s and 90s, metal heads freaked people out. Now there whatever teen culture that leads people to be so afraid that they demand curfews and their law enforcement acts in kind. Just take a read of the following article in The State to get an idea of how afraid we all are of young people.

Village at Sand hill plans curfew for some teens
Unaccompanied youths 16 and younger to be barred after 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays
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Gerry Melendez/
A group of teenagers walk towards Five Guys Burgers and Fries at the Village at Sandhills, Thursday, August 14, 2008. Sandhills will have a curfew starting September 5th for teens 16 and under. It only applies to Friday and Saturday evenings after 9 p.m. when all children 16 and under will be required to be accompanied by an adult.
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Should children under 16 be allowed at Sandhill after 9 p.m?
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Created: 08/14/08 22:49:07
Should children under 16 be allowed at Sandhill after 9 p.m?
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74 votes

Total: 84 votes
Cast your opinion in our QuickPoll. It's not scientific, but we hope it's interesting or sometimes even fun.
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Teens 16 and younger soon will not be allowed at Village at Sandhill after 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights unless they have parents or guardians with them.
The new policy, drafted by shopping center management with help from Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, is being announced today and is scheduled to take effect Sept. 5, Richland County Councilwoman Val Hutchinson said Thursday.
Stephanie White, marketing manager at the shopping center, would not provide specifics of the policy.
Richland County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Myers would not discuss possible punishments for violating the new rules.
“I think they’re trying to make the village safe for citizens to eat and watch a movie and walk around at night,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson said she has received complaints “about groups of teenagers congregating at the cinema and being loud and making people feel uncomfortable.”
All of the complaints stemmed from youths gathering inside, in front of, or around the movie theaters, she said.
She forwarded complaints to Lott and said he and the shopping center’s management realized some action had to be taken, Hutchinson said.
“I think the community as a whole will appreciate it,” she said.
White, the center’s marketing manager, said a “youth accompaniment policy” would be implemented, but would not say what prompted it.
But such policies are not new.
Columbia Place, a mall on Two Notch Road, instituted a youth escort policy in April 2004. It requires visitors younger than 18 be accompanied by a parent or guardian 21 or older after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Unescorted teens unable to show valid ID are asked to leave.
Before the ban, from October 2003 to March 2004, the mall saw a 25 percent increase in evictions and a 40 percent increase in people being banned, Columbia Place general manager Charles Gwinn said.
The mall launched a two-week public awareness campaign about the policy similar to what Sandhill is planning.
“It wasn’t very long after implementation it became pretty well-known and understood,” Gwinn said. “We immediately saw a noticeable decline in the number of behavioral-related incidents.”
The Columbiana Grande 14 movie theater in Harbision launched a policy in February prohibiting children younger than 16 from being admitted to shows that start at 9:30 p.m. or later unless they are accompanied by an adult 21 or older.
People visiting the Village at Sandhill late Thursday had mixed opinions.
Scott Riggins of West Columbia said that if his 16-year-old son is old enough to drive, he certainly should be allowed to go see a movie by himself and do something afterward.
“I don’t see where it hurts anything for a 16-year-old to go to the movies and do what he or she needs to do,” he said.
Dennis Bradley, 13, of Columbia, said he doesn’t mind the policy.
And William Dune of Northeast Richland thinks the policy is a good idea. He saw far fewer youths hanging out when it was instituted at Columbia Place, he said.
On several occasions at Sandhill, teenagers have made rude comments toward his wife, driven recklessly in the parking lot and littered, he said.
“If they’re on one side of the street, you want to be on the other side of the street, ’cause you don’t wanna deal with that,” he said.
Keith Knight, 16, of Columbia, likely will come to Sandhill after 9 p.m. anyway, he said.

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