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  • Bandannas not Permitted in Mall

    Springfield, MO:
    Mall security told a 10 year old girl who was sitting with her mother eating to remove a bandana she was wearing that was brightly colored and decorated with flowers, smilie faces, and peace signs to remove it stating it was against the mall's "code of conduct". The little girl was handed a code of conduct card and told to comply or leave.

    http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=17062

    Having worked security at malls I've seen this kind of thing happen quite a bit. What do you think about it?
    In my opinion it's totally ridiculous. This is an example of a large private business that believes it can run the day to day activities and mannerisms of law abiding citizens like you and me and they have their private security enforce pretended rules like these like they're actually law. That whole industry needs to wake up to the real world if you ask me.
    "We appreciate all the hard work you've done, the dedicated hours you have worked, and the lives you have saved. However, since this is your third time being late to work, we are terminating your employment here."

  • #2
    A rule like that is pretty standard around here, although I'd expect the officer to have a little discretion in enforcing it.

    Comment


    • #3
      If I were to read between the lines of the article, I would make the assumption that the no bandana idea is due to issues with some negative group (possibly gang?) activity. Now whether this particular property has the problem or this is a standard policy of all the properties owned by this group (where one or more have had problems with this issue) then I can only assume that the officers must enforce the rule across the board in order for the owners of the properties to prevent themselves from being sued for selective enforcement (profiling).

      The easiest way for that to happen is to deny discretion to their security force, thereby being able to show any court that they are not selecting any particular group out for discrimination, but uniformly enforcing a code.

      Is this any different from schools with dress codes?
      "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

      Comment


      • #4
        I noticed the article said the security guard had approached another patron and told that person to remove a bandana before he did the same with the 10 year old girl.

        Like Bull said, if he ignored the girl he and his employer would have been wide open to claims of harassment and profiling. The security force needs to enforce all the rules and regulations fairly and consistently.

        I also noticed the wording of the "offensive clothing" rule was rather broad and vague. If you use a strict interpetation of the language in the rule, you could find every single piece of clothing a person wears to be "offensive" under the code. If the girl's parents are sharp, they will hire a lawyer to challenge that particular rule, claming it is to broad and vague to be enforced.

        Comment


        • #5
          To my believe there will be a very good reason for this rule. But I have a very hard time believing that there is anyone relating this rule to an 10 y.o. girl.

          If I was on duty in that mall, I would let her wear it! Come on, we all know that the rule isn't invented to give little kids a hard time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by boes1970
            To my believe there will be a very good reason for this rule. But I have a very hard time believing that there is anyone relating this rule to an 10 y.o. girl.

            If I was on duty in that mall, I would let her wear it! Come on, we all know that the rule isn't invented to give little kids a hard time.
            Well I agree on your point as it pertains to this article, I would say the officer was avoiding any conflict by enforcing the rule across the board to prevent any complaints of discriminatory behavior.

            Discretion can easily be limited by the owners, leaving officers no choice but to act.

            I have to enforce rules in our hospital across the board, fairly and consistently, regardless of my personal opinion on the rule being enforced and who I am enforcing the rule on.
            "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

            Comment


            • #7
              Okey, you are right on your remark by defending the rules. I have to do it to. On the refugeecentre where I work, there are 350 persons living in small rooms packed in a building. This is only possible with some rules.

              But when I read the rules off conduct in that mall, there is a problem there. And they know it to. If the spokeswomen can't explain the rule in combination with the bandana of the girl...........

              I strongly believe that rules need to be clear. If not, you sooner or later will end up with a situation like this. The press will make you and the client (the mall) look like a fool.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think that discretion is a great thing; however, in today's sue-happy society discretion is quickly going the way of the Do-Do bird.

                In my career I have noticed that the only times I have gotten complaints is when I have exercised my discretion and given people a break.

                A great example is when I was working at the college and I saw a vehicle containg four young men blow right through a stop sign on campus. I pulled them over. The occupants were not students at the college, but visiting a student. All four were polite and cooperative so I decided to cut the driver a break and not issue him a citation.

                The driver went directly from the stop to the police station and filed a racial profiling complaint against me. The driver claimed I had stopped and questioned him and his friends solely based upon their race, and the justification he gave for his belief was because I did not issue him a citation; therefore, I had no legal cause to pull him over! The fact that I did not cite him was the proof of my evil intent!

                The complaint was, of course, dismissed as unfounded. But I had to sweat it out for a few days while the investigation was conducted, and the complaint remains in my personnel file and can be seen by any other police agencies I apply to. Since that day, I have never given anyone else a break. If I stop them for a violation, any violation no matter how minor, I take the appropriate enforcement action. No more warnings from me!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with you there. Rules should be clear. When the reason for a rule can be clearly explained to the person you're asking to comply with the rule then you normally (maybe with some grumbling) get compliance.

                  If I was the girl's parent I would have her take off and put away the bandana, but I sure would have (politely) asked the officer to explain how this bandana would possibly "provide a disturbance or embroil other groups or the general public in open conflict."

                  The rule is too broad and needs refining, IMO.
                  "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I completely understand your point of view Histfan.

                    But like a stopsign, that's a clear sign/rule. It says STOP. And the rules coming with that sign will tell you: if you see the sign you have to stop. There we have a cristalclear rule.

                    It's to sad that a guy you give a break, ending up beeing your "enemy", instead of greatfull because you didn't fine him.

                    I have a problem with the weakness in the rule. Because it's to open for discussion. It doesn't say NO bandanas. It's about beeing dressed up nice. But what is that? Wich standard we have to use? A 3piece suit? The "well dressed" rapper Eminem?

                    To me that's no rule.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks AKA

                      In your words it sounds better........I have to work my Engisch a bit

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by histfan71
                        I think that discretion is a great thing; however, in today's sue-happy society discretion is quickly going the way of the Do-Do bird.

                        In my career I have noticed that the only times I have gotten complaints is when I have exercised my discretion and given people a break.

                        A great example is when I was working at the college and I saw a vehicle containg four young men blow right through a stop sign on campus. I pulled them over. The occupants were not students at the college, but visiting a student. All four were polite and cooperative so I decided to cut the driver a break and not issue him a citation.

                        The driver went directly from the stop to the police station and filed a racial profiling complaint against me. The driver claimed I had stopped and questioned him and his friends solely based upon their race, and the justification he gave for his belief was because I did not issue him a citation; therefore, I had no legal cause to pull him over! The fact that I did not cite him was the proof of my evil intent!

                        The complaint was, of course, dismissed as unfounded. But I had to sweat it out for a few days while the investigation was conducted, and the complaint remains in my personnel file and can be seen by any other police agencies I apply to. Since that day, I have never given anyone else a break. If I stop them for a violation, any violation no matter how minor, I take the appropriate enforcement action. No more warnings from me!
                        Histfan71 - I understand your feelings. Several months ago I was working in the emergency department with my partner. There was a younger black man with his friend in the department and in conversation between them they kept using the "N" word. Well they overheard a white guy nearby (a patient) use the word (he was actually asking another person why they refer to their race that way) and the black guy got all upset because my partner and I wouldn't tell the white man not to use the word. He called us racists. He couldn't understand that the example being set was the example being followed. So we told all of them to cease using the word and we were still racists.

                        Can't win for losing sometimes.
                        "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I likely would not have enforced the rule upon the 10yo on the basis that she was, at the time, under her mother's supervision.
                          "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                          "The Curve" 1998

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with the officers actions. Unfortunately a policy exists limiting the types of clothes allowed in the mall. I understand the bandana worn by the little girl was a "little girl" bandana and not gang attire. However, the guard had just previously told someone else to remove theirs. Had he not told the girl they could open themselves up for harassment lawsuit. Likewise, if someone saw the little girl wearing the bandana they might assume its ok and next thing you know you got a whole bunch of bandanas being worn. Its a sad day when properties succumb to the gangs and criminals and restrict things because they are "gang attire". I don't personally believe in giving breaks either. I have found out that when you give a break your kindness is either taken as a sign of weakness or they go off and do the same thing. I don't believe in being a jerk though either. I think the best thing to do is to enforce your regulations and thatway it takes liability off you and puts it on your employers. For example, at my work we are security but we are essentially a private police dept. One of the rules here is to obey posted speedlimits and stop signs. Well its 15mph inside the plant and 20mph on Perimeter Rd. Perimeter Rd is over 2 miles long so you can imagine we get a lot of speeders most doing 40+. As security it is my job to enforce, not to punish thats HRs job. So when I pull someone over I give them a ticket. Undoubtetly nothing happens to them for their violation . However, I did my job and enforced the rules. If and when they cause an accident, I can prove I did my job and secuirty can't be held liable. Keep in mind that, as security, we work on private property. Private property owners are not subject to racial profiling charges. Believe it or not you as an owner can deny access to anyone for any reason. If the mall chooses to not allow certain clothes they have that right. Like I said, I don't necessarily agree with that policy but if the world was a perfect place we would all be out of work.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1stWatch,

                              I'm a little surprised that a security professional would see it your way. It is private property. It can make rules of conduct on it's property. You don't like them, stay off of the property!

                              I've asked people to leave the lobby of the hotel for wearing a t-shirt with F*CK-YOU written in big letters on it. Am I interfering with that person's freedom of expression? He's free to express himself in public or on his property but not mine!

                              By the way one reason why we are employed & have not been replaced by robots is because we can use discrission (sp?). I would not have intervened in this case.

                              Neil
                              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                              Comment

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