Curfew law goes too far (OPINION)
by Regina Bell,
The Baltimore City Council passed a controversial new curfew law on August 8th, 2014. According to the Baltimore Sun, “[c]hildren under the age of 14 have to be inside by 9 p.m., while teens ages 14-16 have to be inside by 10 p.m. on school nights and 11 p.m. on non-school nights”. The curfew law stipulates that if you are under the minimum age and the police catch you violating the curfew, your parents have to pay a $500 fine.
I think that the curfew law should only be for children under the age of 14, because some teenagers have jobs or do other things to earn money, like babysit. I feel as though teenagers are not going to get the experience they need in the work field if they can not work the hours that are required. I do not think that they should get picked up by the police for certain things like coming home late from hanging out with friends, coming from school, or a sporting game. It is not fair to the young people who are doing good and staying out of trouble after the curfew. If their school is too far from their home than the police should not have a problem with them coming home late. I think that if they are doing a good deed then they shouldn’t get taken away for being late. I think that young people should have a certification card or document that says that they have a job and work later than ten o’ clock.
I asked some other people in my community and school about the curfew law, including Ms. England, Patterson’s community liaison. Her opinion is that people in the neighborhood should help the kids to go inside their house during the curfew time. She also said that they should have recreation centers open for teenagers that stay open until around ten o’clock. Additionally, she believes that the police should be friendlier towards the kids and not harass them. If they catch someone breaking the curfew, they should take them to a recreation center close to home rather than putting them in jail.
I with agree her because some people’s parents cannot afford to come pick up their kids up from jail or another far-away location, so their kids have to stay there until the police decide to release them on their own. I do not think that is fair or appropriate for a young person who was not doing anything wrong but only getting home late. I also think that parents should automatically stay on top of their child or children about them coming home late because something can happen to them and their parents might not know where they are.
In conclusion, I believe that while there may be a need for some kind of curfew for younger children, the new curfew law is too strict and unfairly punishes teenagers who are not doing anything wrong.