KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) — Some community members are not happy after Town and Country Kettering announced a new teen chaperone policy.

On Sunday, the shopping center announced everyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Town and Country Shopping Center also released the following statement on Facebook:

In response to considerable property damage, disruption in our tenant’s businesses, and customer safety concerns, Town & Country Shopping Center has issued an age restriction for unaccompanied minors. This difficult decision was not taken lightly, however, the escalating damage forces this policy to be enacted, to be reevaluated in the future as the situation improves.

Town & Country Shopping Center now falls in step with similar policies, instituted by the other local & regional malls, in the hopes that this will provide a short-term solution for what we hope is not a long-term problem.

Town and Country Kettering

The announcement sparked outrage on social media. Some customers think it will be bad for business, like Lauren Stark and Zach Carson.

“I think it’s ridiculous to have a chaperone at that age because we look forward to getting away from our parents for a little bit and go shopping at Town and Country,” Stark explained.

“At a time when you can’t even get enough workers for retails stores, now you can be under 18 to work at a store, but you can’t come into the store unless you’re with a chaperone. It’s just a bad way to attract business,” Carson said.

Some store employees disagree, though. Elijah Wireman works for GNC. He said his store usually does not have any problems, but he knows that is not the case for his neighbors.

“My store is small so I can see what is going on and boot someone out, but I know other stores, they always have to kick kids out. Security is always running kids out,” Wireman said.

This new policy goes into effect on January 1, 2022.