Promenade Mall's new ' family first' policy and its impact on area teens

Tuesday, February 1st 2005, 10:14 am
By: News On 6

New information about the Promenade Mall's rule no longer allowing children under 18 at the mall on weekend nights after 6 PM.

The Tulsa mall started enforcing its 'family first' policy two weekends ago and it caught some parents off guard. While some are against the policy, others say they support it because they're tired of hordes of unsupervised kids creating problems for employees and customers alike.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright has a follow up report.

Promenade's decision to cut down on the number of unsupervised teenagers on weekend nights is in response to a huge problem that's gotten worse over time, parents dumping kids off for hours on end.

One Tulsa woman appreciates the mall's rule after she, her daughter and granddaughters felt unsafe there a few weeks ago. "The minute it got dark, we were swarmed with teenagers and county deputies and we asked one of the security guards and he said gangs get into fights and kids run wild with no supervision whatsoever."

Officers who work the mall say too many parents use the mall as a babysitter and when large groups of kids are allowed to roam unchecked, trouble starts and it's no fun for the many good kids who are there or the adults.

Another woman, who works at the Touch of Class jewelry store at the mall and has seen the problem first-hand, she also appreciates the policy. "We have a lot of people who don't shop on Friday and Saturday nights. And, we see it in our numbers on Friday and Saturday. We're not making our sales Friday and Saturday night."

The rule doesn't keep teens away from the mall; it just requires them to have a parent on Friday and Saturday nights so the shopping environment is good for everyone.

The AMC Southroads movie theatre complex has had similar problems and we're told are also starting a family friendly rule. The nearby Reasors also had problems with swarms of unsupervised kids, but after adding extra security a few years ago, the problem stopped.

Promenade says shoppers under 18 must have a parent or guardian with them on Friday and Saturday nights after 6 PM. Kids who are asked to leave will be allowed to call a parent and there is a designated area for them to wait for a ride, outside the movie theatre, where it's well lit and secure.