AUGUSTA, G.A. (WJBF) – School is out and places like Skateland on Windsor Spring Road are hotspots for kids and teens to have a good time, but sometimes there are concerns that when they’re left with no parental supervision, things can get out of hand.
“We are considered a cheap baby-sitter,” said Kathy Nave.
Nave is the owner of Skateland of Augusta. She says with covid restrictions now lifted and kids out of school, she has to make changes at the skating rink.
“Because of the few incidents we had and covid we have to raise our prices,” said Nave.
Nave says part of the reason is to pay for extra security. Just this past week a fight broke out inside the rink. Several kids were kicked out but the fight only escalated outside.
Nave says, “many parents want to drop their kids off as a way to go out and enjoy things. So, they’ll put their 5, 6-year-old out with a 10 11 or 12-year-old and leave they sometimes say that they’re going to stay here, and then they go out the door, and leave their child.”
She says it’s a rare occurrence, but she’s tried to make changes to their policy to prevent incidents like that.
“We try very hard especially on the weekend nights not to allow children under 10 to be without adult supervision and an adult is anyone 25 and older or their parent,” said Nave.
Richmond County sheriff’s office Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton says the problem isn’t just at Skateland.
“Regal cinemas is one that comes to mind, we actually have additional deputies that are out there working during those periods of time, so they can be there and deal with these additional issues. I will tell you again that this strains our man power,” said Chief Clayton.
Community activist Monique Braswell says more could be done on the parents’ side as well as the sheriff’s office.
“The sheriff should enforce the law that says that children under a certain age can’t be outside at a certain time unaccompanied by an adult,” said Braswell.
She’s referring to a local ordinance that says minors can’t be out past 11 pm on weekdays.
Nave says sometimes her employees are left to wait with children close to midnight until their parents come and pick them up.
“Skateland has turned into a young teen club all for the sake of money, all for the sake of parents, let me let them go do something, find something for them to do,” said Braswell.
There are activities across the CSRA that offer supervised fun for kids and teens. Braswell says the only problem is getting those kids involved in them.