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Teenagers have been hanging out at shopping malls since the 1970s. It almost seems like a rite of passage. At NorthPark Center in Dallas, that rite of passage now requires a parent after 6:00 p.m. “I think it’s our responsibility to know where our children are, who they’re with and what they’re doing,” said Bridget Johnson, a mother of a 15-year-old.
NorthPark is enforcing a new “code of conduct” that requires anyone 17 or younger to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian while inside the mall after 6:00 p.m. “I really do respect that there are parents who may not agree with us completely,” explained NorthPark spokesman, Mark Annick. ”I can tell you that we’ve also spoken with all of the merchants in NorthPark and they think this a very good idea,” added Annick.
While many parents support it, others maintain that 6:00 p.m. is too early to enforce a code of conduct. “I think it’s a little early. I think more like 8:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m., maybe,” said parent Debbie Hilliard.
An exception will be made for teens coming to the mall for a movie. However, NorthPark says they must go straight to the theater and leave once the movie is over.