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Billings McDonalds closes lobby to students during school, sparks Facebook controversy

Posted at 8:49 AM, Jan 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-15 10:49:46-05

BILLINGS — The McDonald's in Billings at Central Avenue and 24th Street West, across the street from West High School, has posted notices stating that students are no longer allowed in the lobby from the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

This move has sparked controversy among Billings residents on Facebook.

“My daughter told me that she was not allowed into McDonald's. I was like, ‘Why?’ She was like, ‘I don’t know why,'" said Amanda Thompson, who originally posted about the issue in the group Billings Customer Service Watchdog.

She said she wants to understand the reasoning behind the ban.

“It matters to me because it’s basically discrimination. You have (home schooled) kids, you have a lot of high school kids, you have, maybe, adults that look like teenagers," said Thompson.

The McDonald's staff said the change was made out of a concern for staff safety. McDonald's corporate did not respond to an email inquiry.

Some, including students like Jayden Criddle, said the change is justified.

“Just seeing how some of the kids act in some of those places, you get what you get. It’s a privilege, not a right," said Criddle, who has worked as a waitress at Tippy Cow.