There’s a problem that the city believes that they have the right to give people’s children a curfew outside of the curfew the parent has created. This argument is just beginning to gain traction as teenagers want to stay out later to spend time with their friends “Netflixing and Chilling”. According to Jonathan Zimmerman’s article youth curfews date back to the late 19th century because America had an enormous amount of unsupervised teens. Similar to truancy laws and child labor laws the curfew law was created because it was said that it would improve family life.
The city shouldn’t have control over curfews on teenagers because it hinders teenage growth in everyday life. Everyone is all about teenagers becoming responsible young adults, but giving them curfews isn’t exactly teaching responsibility. The parents, the one who’s child it really is, the ones who raised them should have control over when they want their teen to return home. Every parent of teenagers worries if their child is learning to be responsible, but curfews don’t teach responsibility.
If you want your child to learn responsibility you need to give them the opportunity to be responsible, your child needs to learn to make decisions for themselves, so that when they get out into the real world they will know how to live for themselves. From the time teens are born they’re told when to eat, where to go, and what to do, but when they finally turn 18 everything has changed. In the state of Illinois at 17 you have a driving curfew of 10pm on weekdays and on weekends 11pm, but once you turn 18 you have the power to vote for The President of The United States.
It’s weird how the government doesn’t trust teens to go in the house at a decent time, but a few months later they trust them enough to vote for the president. Teens go from have little to no freedom to being completely free and trusted. According to a 18 year analysis of 21 cities teen curfews only make things worse, majority of the teens that are arrested or fined for not abiding by the curfew are Latino or African American (Males, 2013). Teenage criminal offenses increase with curfews because they get taken to the police station when they’re caught out past the state curfew.
The parents authority over their child is revoked when the government enforces curfews. Municipal curfews are government interference with private life. If the parent chooses to issue a curfew for their child then that should be their decision. The government shouldn’t interfere with their decisions. Reverting back to what I previously said curfews do not give the parents a chance to teach their children responsibility. Parents may trust their child and know that they’re responsible enough to get home, curfews are enforced because the government thinks that it may drop the crime rate.
In fact as reported by Jonathan Zimmerman Detroit adopted a curfew 1976 the crime rate dropped 6 percent during curfew hours, but increased 13 percent during the day. Across the nation more than 80 percent of youth crimes happen between the hours of 9am and 10pm, because of the change in when crimes occur the government believes that the curfews have made a change in the community when, they’ve only changed the community for the worst. In Mike Males’ article “OP-ED: Why Don’t Youth Curfews Work? he stated “CJCJ’s journal analysis of 400 police citations found just that: Curfews function as remarkably effective tools to waste law enforcement resources” which in turn proves that state curfews aren’t as serious as they’re made out to be (Males 2013). Restricting teens from being out after certain hours of the day, hinders their daily activities.
Teens need to have a well rounded life that includes school, clubs or sports, and/or a job. The average high school football game lasts two and a half hours, so if the game starts at 6:30pm it won’t be over until 10pm the teens who drive home re technically breaking the law. If these football players and students of the school are caught driving home their will be a hefty amount of teens getting in trouble for supporting the school. The law prohibiting teens from being out “late” hinders their growth and leaves them sheltered. Partaking in numerous activities forms the quintessential high school student, but this can only be done with curfews being lifted.
Society puts a lot of pressure on high school students to be perfectly well rounded, which is hard when you have to worry about wha ut what time to be home. In some cases curfews are important to have because it it for the child’s safety. Parents want their child to be in the house under their protection during late hours. People who disagree with abolishing curfew laws may say that teens learn responsibility from having to be in before the mandatory time. In the same vein people in disagreeance will say that teen driving becomes reckless at night. This may be true but, teens trying to rush home before curfew, also drive reckless.
These cons do not outweigh the pro’s, teens should be allowed freedom to come in the house when their parents say that they have to not when the government think is the right time. Looking at the bigger picture teens do not need curfews. The parents of the teenagers should decide when they want their child to return home. Teenagers won’t learn responsibility if they’re always told what to do. Curfews serve as a hinderance for daily teen life. Believe it or not curfews do not make things as great as everyone may think.