New Eastdale Mall parental escort policy starts tonight - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

New Eastdale Mall parental escort policy starts tonight

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Fewer disturbances, less inappropriate behavior and a safer, more comfortable shopping atmosphere - that's what Eastdale Mall hopes to achieve with its new parental escort policy which goes into effect starting at 6:00 tonight.

The new policy requires mall visitors 17 years of age and younger to be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is 21 years of age or older at all times on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 6 p.m. According to the mall, a guardian can include a legal guardian or other parental figure, including a grandparent, aunt or uncle.

This policy applies to the entire mall property (with the exception of department stores) including the walkway and corridors leading to the mall as well as parking areas.

"Since announcing the Parental Escort Policy last week, we have had an overwhelmingly positive response from individuals throughout the community and among our retailers," said Eastdale Mall General Manager David Schloss.

Starting at 5 p.m. on nights the policy names, mall staff will begin making announcements to give unsupervised youth enough time to finish up their shopping and make arrangements for a parent or guardian to either join them, or pick them up. After 6 p.m., those without supervision will be asked for valid identification which includes a driver's license, state or military identification card, passport or visa. Unescorted youth who are unable to show ID or who are 17 or younger will be asked to leave the property.

"Eastdale Mall strives to remain a center of commerce that brings quality stores and shoppers together," said Schloss. "Unfortunately, a growing number of unsupervised youth are attempting to use the mall in a manner that is inconsistent with this purpose."

Mall officials say proof of age will also be required if the age of the parent or guardian is not easily determined. If an unescorted youth is found to be visiting the mall after the designated time and they have no transportation available, they will be taken to wait at a designated area inside the mall and will be supervised by mall security officers until the arrival of a parent or guardian.

Mall leaders also say this will not stop young adults who are employed at the mall from working on Friday and Saturday nights - those employees must be prepared to show identification that has been issued by the mall.

"We welcome teens to shop at Eastdale Mall on Friday and Saturday nights," said Schloss. "We are simply asking that young people shop with a parent or appropriate guardian who is 21 years or older during specific hours on the weekends." 

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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