Shaker Heights Van Aken District requires anyone under 17 to be with parent or legal guardian

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 12:07 PM EDT
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SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - The Van Aken District in Shaker Heights announced that anyone under the age of 17 is required to have a parent or legal guardian in their company at all times.

The reminder was posted on the district’s Facebook page in collaboration with Shaker Heights Police on June 1, and met with mixed reviews.

While some showed support the safety measure, most commenters shared their frustration against the requirement’s restrictions.

19 News is reaching out to Shaker Heights and Van Aken District representatives to get answers to these questions community members want to know:

  1. Will visitors have to show an ID to prove they meet the age requirement?
  2. Why must the supervisor of the child or teen be a parent or legal guardian?
    1. Can any other adult family member or friend count as the supervisor?
  3. Will the relation between the child or teen and the supervisor be checked?
    1. If yes, how could it be proven?
  4. Will teens under the age of 17 who are employed by Van Aken District businesses be forced to have a parent or guardian accompanying them on their shifts?
  5. Is there a limit for how many children or teens one parent or guardian can supervise at a time at Van Aken District?

Kids 15 and under will now have to be accompanied by an adult at Crocker Park, but one adult can be responsible for up to four kids.

[ Crocker Park implements rules for kids 15 and under ]

This marks the second private business in Northeast Ohio with age limitations without an adult.

The Van Aken District later responded to the Facebook comments on their post with this statement:

“We want to provide some needed clarification on this post. We have unfortunately seen a number of issues with many unchaperoned youth that led to us being more vocal about our procedures. This includes: vandalism of common spaces, trespassing in restricted areas, and fighting.

The Van Aken District has always had an age regulation, however it was not something that was actively put on display. It continues to be a place that welcomes all members of the community, especially its youth. We are not changing anything about the way things will be enforced. If your child is here engaging as a patron, enjoying the space as it is meant to be, and not being disruptive, they are welcome.

We apologize for any ambiguity on our part and are certainly not trying to punish the majority of youth that have and regularly enjoy the District as it is meant to be. The Van Aken District thanks you for your understanding and support to make it a place that continues to be safe and enjoyable for dining, shopping, living, working, and gathering.”