ANDERSON, Ind. — Ranny Hinton Jr. said he is offended by a sign posted at the local mall.
“The wording is offensive,” said Hinton, 21, of Anderson.
The sign, posted at the entrances of the Mounds Mall in Anderson states, “For the safety & well-being of everyone, please lower your hoodie.”
Mall officials say the rules regarding hoodies have been around since 2004, but new signs reminding patrons of the rule were posted in December.
Braun Roosa, general manager of Mounds Mall, said as the weather turns warmer the signs will be removed and are only in place as part of a safety measure.
“It was requested by local law enforcement,” Roosa said. “It is for security and ID purposes only. We don’t ask them to remove the hoodie, just lower it.”
Sending a message
Hinton said he was offended by the signs because hoodies are specifically targeted in the sign.
“It is mainly the younger generations that wear hoodies,” Hinton said. “I don’t think they should have it on there at all. There ain’t nothing on there about ski masks or beanies. Why does it matter about hoodies?”
Several people had not noticed the new sign posted next to the door handles at each entrance with a red, crossed-out hooded figure.
Sara Hinton, 20, of Anderson has been in the mall several times this last week, but only realized they were posted when they were pointed out. She said she can understand the security reasons behind the request, but the sign did not address all the different ways a person’s face could be obscured.
Braun said hoodies are specifically mentioned in its Mounds Mall Code of Conduct and other businesses, like the financial industry, make similar requests of clients including limiting the ability to wearing sunglasses inside.
Abiding by the rules