Frustration is mounting for lots of of hungry school students after a northeast Calgary mall barred them from entering through the day.
During lunch hour on Monday, students who headed to the Village Square Mall for a bite to eat as a substitute found security guards and a note posted by property management banning their entry, leaving them with fewer options for lunch.
That note on the door reads, “effective October 1st, 2022, the scholars of Lester B. Pearson High School and Clarence Sansom School usually are not allowed in Village Square Mall from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. day by day. There will likely be a security guard at each entrance door to watch progress and ask the scholars to depart the property. Those that refuse to depart the property will likely be reported to the varsity constable and could possibly be fined and/or charged with trespassing.”
Students consider the measures taken by mall management aren’t right.
“We’re not gonna have anywhere to go at lunch. It’s just not fair to us, to be honest,” says student Kennedy Schuler.
Schuler’s friend and classmate Aaliyah Whitman-Samir says due to the ban, “students don’t really have anywhere to go and that was sort of our place. I feel like we had more options and now we’re sort of limited to certain options.”
Other students say with the ban in place, it isn’t just hurting those in search of lunch, but those that serve them as well.
“I don’t wish to be rude, but we were mainly those that were giving them business,” says Grade 11 student Ahmed Thome. “I just feel prefer it wrecked every little thing for everyone,” he adds.
Several restaurant owners on the food court, including Tann Van, agree the ban is bad for business.
The owner of Van’s Café has been serving lots of of teenagers lunch day by day for nearly a decade, nevertheless, on Monday the food court was empty, and his food went to waste.
“We cook, but we cannot sell. Often this time lunch time, a number of kids are available, very busy, today, nothing,” says Van.
Nonetheless, not everyone seems to be upset about banning students from the shopping centre.
Hapreet Singh, who works within the mall, says he and a number of the other employees were fearful for his or her safety, adding “on a regular basis the mall was damaged.”
“Every week there was police coming over, fire alarms, broken chairs, broken windows, broken doors. False fire alarms. There was so much,” he says.
Singh says he has worked within the mall for nearly six years, and now that the ban is in place, he’s says Monday afternoon was a totally different atmosphere – he’s never heard the mall so calm and quiet.
“It felt weird once I got here in. It was empty, there was no noise, no screaming, it just felt different,” says Singh.
Global News has reached out to the property management group for comment about what prompted the ban or how long it should last, but has not yet received a response.
The Calgary Board of Education says it’s aware of the situation, and while it doesn’t know if CBE students are involved in any issues contained in the mall, it expects its students to be good residents inside and out of doors the classroom.