Teens are out of control, says Ocean City, NJ boardwalk worker
A big topic of conversation this summer in South Jersey has been the behavior of groups of teens gathering at night in shore towns and acting badly.
Avalon, which has always had open, accessible beaches, now closes its beaches at 9 p.m. and the boardwalk at 11 p.m. Police say this is due to the number of unruly teenagers wreaking havoc.
"From fence posts being pulled out and put in stacks with the presumption of perhaps setting them on fire to cans on the beach being overturned and even some borough vehicles with windows smashed out that are required to clean the beaches every morning," Avalon Business Administrator Scott Wahl told CBS 3-TV earlier this month.
Most nights this summer, Margate's "Club Wa," as the parking lot of the local Wawa has been nicknamed, draws a large crowd of kids, often bringing complaints. Margate police now block access at nearby intersections to stop gangs of kids from getting onto the beach.
Even Ocean City, with its slogan of America's Greatest Family Resort, is seeing bad behavior from packs of teens roaming the boardwalk after dark.
This week, a woman named Holly, who says she has worked on the Ocean City Boardwalk for 29 years, posted on Facebook that this year she has seen the worst behavior by teens in her nearly three decades on the boardwalk.
Holly challenged the parents to find out what their kids are doing on the boardwalk at night.
To anyone that has kids roaming the boardwalks with their friends at night, do you know what your kids are doing ? Do you trust your kids, did you raise them to respect adults or have consequences? Do you discipline your kids ? I challenge you to stalk your kids and find out what they do all night on the boards, just randomly find them and see if it's all what you expect . Because today's teens are certainly lacking respect for authority. The amount of kids stealing , getting in fights, terrorizing stores with their outrageous behavior is wild.
Holly gives examples of teens stealing, cursing, and acting rudely, and even one teen who told police that he made more money than they did and called them losers.
You can read Holly's Facebook post below.
Why is this happening more this year and what can be done about it? Those are questions South Jersey shore towns will be wrestling with long after the summer crowds have gone home.