11-year-old boy detained for shopping without adult at Calgary Lego Store
CALGARY – An 11-year-old boy’s father says his son was detained by security for shopping by himself at Calgary’s Lego Store.
Doug Dunlop says his boy Tadhg went to the store Sunday to spend his own money, as he has done dozens of times before.
“Like most 11-year-olds, he’s keen on Lego and he if he gets birthday money, money for doing jobs, money shoveling the neighbour’s walk…he saves it up and goes to the store to buy some Lego,” Dunlop told Global News. “Pretty ordinary as far as I was concerned.”
When Dunlop went to pick up Tadhg, he found a security guard watching over him.
Dunlop says the guard and the store’s manager told him children under 12 are not allowed in the store without an adult because of safety concerns.
“The idea that he could be detained in the Lego store…didn’t even cross my mind. What could be more banal than a kid buying Lego?”
He says they called him a bad parent for not accompanying his child.
“Yeah, that’s a personal slight against me, that’s not really a problem for other people and other people’s kids, but I’ve heard from dozens now of parents who’ve sent their nine and 10-year-olds to Lego stores unattended, who bought Lego successfully, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t,” said Dunlop.
Officials with Lego and the Chinook Centre mall were not immediately available for comment.
Dunlop says he was told it was part of their policy for child safety; he says a Lego manager told him it’s for situation such as a mall evacuation.
“I said – I don’t see the danger in that. They have fire drills in schools and our kids aren’t endangered by those either. At worst, it would be an inconvenience.”
He says Tadhg ended up getting his Lego—but at a different store.
“I’m not going back to that store. So since he’s not allowed in alone, they’ve effectively banned him from the store. And he’s a good customer.”
© 2015 Global News and The Canadian Press