10| viewpoints | the roar
friday, may 13, 2011
Should a curfew for teenagers be implemented in College Station?
by Amy Zhang, Opinions Editor
Currently, College Station does not have a city-wide curfew for teenagers. When the scenario is examined, taking into consideration Bryan’s success with their city-wide curfew for teenagers 17 and under, implementing a curfew could actually benefit the College Station. Since the curfew’s employment, Bryan has seen a 78 percent decrease in juvenile arrests, and juvenile criminal activity has dropped 65 percent. The curfew in Bryan, enacted in 2007, prohibits any person under 17 from being out between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. If such a system was implemented in College Station, what little juvenile crime rate that we have could be significantly lessened. It’s been said by many parents that nothing worthwhile happens after 12. Indeed, what could students do after 12 that couldn’t be done sometime else? By taking the step to outlaw teenage presences on the street after midnight, College Station would be ensuring the safety of citizens, as well as protecting some of its teenagers from making unintelligent choices. Even though College Station’s juvenile crime rate is not currently at a dangerous level, it’s always better to prevent what is preventable. It is understandable that under some scenarios, curfews can provide unnecessary problems for fun-loving teenagers. However, a curfew could prevent pointless infractions, while also ensuring that parents do not need to worry. After all, there’s no shame in having a parent come with you to that latest movie premiere (they’ll probably just end up sleeping anyway). Having a curfew in place clearly wouldn’t majorly affect how College Station runs. And if you’re a student complaining—why complain, if you have nothing to hide?
by Preksha Chowdhary, Assistant Editor
The city of College Station currently does not have a curfew for teenagers. Our juvenile crime rate is not nearly at a dangerous level, and it would be simply unnecessary to violate our civil rights and assign the city responsibilities that are better left to parents. Youth are criminalized by such laws simply for being outside of their houses. In effect, this makes houses function as prisons. If kids were told to be at home earlier, it would only tempt them to sneak out at all times of the night, which in turn would cause many more problems. In fact, a study conducted on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice found that curfew laws did not lead to a reduction in the amount of youth victimized during any hours. Limiting the freedom of mobility of an entire subset of people based on incorrect assumptions is unacceptable. The city should be focusing on preventing crime from happening in the first place instead of trying to get kids home earlier. It just gives teenagers another reason to dislike the authorities. Additionally, a report based on statistics by the Federal Bureau of Investigation states that youth are most likely to commit violent acts between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.--times when curfew laws are not in effect. If this is the case, such laws would not prevent juvenile crimes. They merely allow ineffective, age-based discrimination. People who are likely to have criminal tendencies will not mind breaking one more law. The only people who are restricted are law-abiding youth. The city-wide curfew would simply be an unnecessary restriction of freedom. And most importantly, would you not be upset if someone tried to keep you from seeing the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 midnight premiere?
student responses. The Roar surveys students to find out their opinions on the possible curfew. Do you think there should be a curfew for teenagers in College Station?
NO 98% 103 students surveyed
At what time do you think the potential curfew should be? 11:00 p.m. 3% 12:00 a.m. 19%
LATER 12 AM later THAN than 12 a.m. 78% 78%
Do you think curfews are effective in reducing teen crime? YES 12%
Student Quotes: As long as I get to see the Harry Potter premiere, it’s all right.
Nevin Blum, junior
I don’t think there are any good reasons to have a curfew. When kids come back from UIL or other tournaments, they’d get in trouble because of the curfew.
Giovanny Bobadilla, sophomore
Published on May 13, 2011