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Concord Mills new youth supervision policy now in effect

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 11:43 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Concord Mills is requiring teens to be supervised on weekend evenings.

According to the program, everyone younger than 18 years old must be with an adult, someone over the age of 21, on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Concord Mills released this statement:

“Concord Mills is committed to providing a pleasant and family-friendly shopping environment for all guests. The program is in response to feedback from the community and community leaders, as the center reinforces its commitment to the community to provide a pleasant, family-friendly shopping environment. We are establishing a Youth Supervision Policy as an enhancement to our existing safety plan and to deter activity that is disruptive to our community.”

Mall officials created the curfew after at least 20 instances of violence dating back to 2015.

That includes the death of 13-year-old Aveanna Propst. She was killed by a stray bullet while at the mall a few days after Christmas in 2019.

The policy also states: one adult may accompany up to four minors, adults are responsible for the actions of the children they’re with, and you may be required to show your ID before going inside.

17-year-old Kory Harmon usually comes to Concord Mills twice a month.

“I would go with my friends or by myself sometimes. I go do go-karts or shopping or watch a movie, whatever I felt like doing when I go there,” Harmon said.

He’s just a few days shy of his eighteenth birthday, but until then his mall experience is changing because of the youth supervision policy.

This means his parents or another adult have to tag along on his night out with friends.

“It’s not the best decision on their part in my opinion,” he said.

Some shoppers told WBTV the reports of violence made them change their entire shopping routine.

“Now I won’t go to the mall on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Those are the busiest days at Concord Mall, and I don’t feel safe in the mall anymore. I’ve talked to a lot of my friends also and they feel the same way.”

Shopper Anita McNeil says while all kids and teens aren’t causing problems, she says it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“For safety purposes, it is best that all children - the good as well as the others are being accompanied by a parent, be with somebody responsible, an adult when in the mall,” McNeil said.

While Harmon understands why the policy is in place, he thinks the actions of a few shouldn’t punish everyone.

“If you’re like 16,17 and around that age, I think it’s kinda wrong especially after 3 pm. Most of us - 16 and 17 have a job and we want to go spend money at the mall and do stuff and we can’t go in after 3 o clock,” Harmon said.

Concord Mills says it will evaluate this program on an ongoing basis.

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