On Monday night, I was riding the train home from work when I noticed a group of little girls near the rear of the car. The five girls were dressed from head-to-toe in Hannah Montana regalia, and sobbing their eyes out. Seeing no adult in sight, I approached the girls and asked if I could help.
The eldest girl (who was 13) explained that they were on their way to the Hannah Montana concert at the Verizon Center and that they were lost. I offered to help them find their way, but demanded to know where their parents were. Apparently, tickets to the concert being scarce, their parents had bought them one way tickets on Metro and sent them to the concert unescorted.
I was shocked. What parent would send their sub-13-year-old daughters into Metro DC unsupervised? Surely, this had to be an aberration. But as I exited the Chinatown Metro to walk the girls toward Will Call, I saw several more groups of young girls trying to navigate the large crowd alone.
This got me wondering: What is the Verizon Center’s policy on unaccompanied minors?
I perused the Verizon Center website but found no formal policy. I then e-mailed the Verizon Center, but I have yet to hear back from them.
Clearly, the primary responsibility for the safety of these girls lies with their parents. And obviously, their parents are idiots. I mean what moron sends his/her five daughters into Downtown DC after dark on a school night without someone to look out for them?
Bottom line, only a careless and irresponsible parent would send his/her young children into a metropolitan city to see a concert unchaperoned. But what kind of venue would allow these girls to enter the building without an adult to watch them? Is the Verizon Center comfortable playing babysitter to masses of unaccompanied minors if it boosts ticket sales? And are parents happy to let them as long as they don’t have to sit through pink glitter covered, saccharin infused Disney pop?
So, the question becomes, should the Verizon Center be allowing unsupervised children to roam freely? Or are the parents the only ones to blame?