Management at the Tortola Pier Park has banned anyone under the age of 17 from entering the multimillion-dollar shopping facility if not accompanied by an adult.
Leasing and Marketing Manager at the Pier Park, Meslyn Allan told BVI News today (December 22) that the new rule came into effect this week.
She explained that rowdy and indisciplined students from Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) had a heavy hand to play in the implementation of the new policy.
“Yes,” she responded when asked if the students had anything to do with the ban.
“We did have some incidences with the students, and while we welcome all to our facility and we love having them, we don’t want it to be disruptive for users of the facility. So we think one of the measures to help alleviate that and to help the students enjoy the facility in a safer and controlled manner is for their parents to attend. So that is definitely one of the reasons.”
On Monday, the Ministry of Education said it was pushing to end the recently-implemented shift system at the said high school because of increasing incidents of students behaving unruly during afterschool hours.
Some students are accused of shoplifting, while others have been involved in nasty public fights. In some cases, students reportedly carried weapons such as knives.
Education Minister Myron Walwyn also announced plans to fix the now ‘L-shaped’ building at the badly-damaged ESHS campus in Road Town to house senior students.
He said it was necessary to have school resume to normal operations to alleviate the disruptions being caused.
Park will be policed
Allan, in the meantime, said signs depicting the ban on unaccompanied youngsters will be erected around the Pier Park next week.
She also said security officers will be policing the park for disruptive students and will also be conducting stop checks on youngsters who appear to be under the specified age.
“If you are disruptive, we will remove you from the facility,” she said.
Allan said in the event that it is absolutely necessary for a child to be unaccompanied by an adult, their parents or guardian must call the Pier Park prior to their arrival to get clearance.
“We don’t like to do it but as a shopping facility, we have not only local residents but international visitors to the facility. We want to make sure that we maintain certain standards and keep the facility as a family, shopping, and entertainment facility so everyone can feel comfortable to come and enjoy the facility and not be deterred.”
She continued: “We want to encourage parents and we want to encourage the families to come and enjoy the Pier Park together.”
The new initiative is dubbed the Parental Guidance Required (PGR) programme.
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