curfews

I was at a community input meeting recently giving my input on a new local curfew law.  Curfews are massively used in the US to control youth movement and it is worth noting that people are more restricted than ever before.  Towns and cities as common spaces are rapidly fading.  (I read my son a book about two kids who travelled on horseback across the US to visit Teddy Roosevelt.  They were 6 and 10 years old. ) And years spent in mass coerced schooling makes us far more comfortable with this approach than we should be.  From this 1997 survey, pre-911:
A 1995 survey by The U.S. Conference of Mayors found that 272 cities, 70 percent of those surveyed, had a nighttime curfew. Fifty-seven percent of these cities considered their curfew effective.
Curfew.org has a Brief History of Curfews up:
They became popular for youths in the early 1900s. The curfew bell could be heard throughout America in former part of the century, the sign to teenagers and children that it was time to head home.

Curfews decreased in popularity over the years to come. Not many were actually repealed, they simply weren't enforced. But come the late 80s, they started being enforced again. Over the next few years, this trend increased. By 1995 curfews were being enacted at a maddening rate, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had begun to get involved, suing on behalf of affected children.

President Bill Clinton, in May of 1996, announced that he was supporting a new teen curfew policy. His policy recommended weekday curfews at 9:00pm for teenagers, with punishments of fines and court summons for parents of offenders. Though this was widely seen as a half-hearted election-year tactic, it gained a great deal of attention from both the press and lawmaking bodies around the country. New curfews were added in greater numbers than ever.

Many of the police chiefs and city councilors that got these laws passed a few years back are no longer holding their positions. They simply passed these laws because it was the trend. So it leaves organisations like the ACLU & fed-up parents to fight to have these casually-passed laws repealed. It is, unfortunately, generally far easier to pass a law then to remove one.
Real and substantial quantitative support curfews is lacking. I blog because I think the schools are where we need to provide learning services for families including families who do not have the money to fund a wealth of extracurricular activities.  If schools could function as  social service providing families with learning services, most families could more easily provide their children with things to do.  Schools extending hours will not get us there. We need extended hours and lots of choices as services are driven by what families want and need.

This is me in a clip downtown working against a proposed  local daytime curfew law. I am third in line.  I was discussing the specific requirements for homeschoolers that have been removed from the bill and that would have been  especially difficult to implement.  After I made my statement about group punishment, I discussed crime and trying to get more kids and people out in the community rather than less.

The local decision has not yet been made.



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