Curfew laws for teenagers: Does it Do More Harm Than Good?

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On September 22, 2013 16-year old Shaina Harris was given permission by her mother, Linda Richardson, to go to Burger King. The time of her stroll to Burger King was past 10 p.m., which violates her town’s curfew. Shaina was issued a summons because of her violation and was taken to court. Such an innocent behavior like going to get a milkshake with your mother’s permission should not be frowned upon. Nor should it bring a punishment like the one Shaina received. Her mother, Ms. Richardson claimed, “It’s my right as a parent to tell my child when to be home—not the government’s.” (Cowen, 2013). Ms. Richardson does indeed have the right as the mother of her child to reprimand her daughter and give her the approval to leave home. It is not the government’s position to be placing authority upon young teens.
Today law enforcement is criminalizing innocent activity because of curfews placed in their region. Like in Shaina’s case, she had a destination in mind. Many young teens out past 10p.m. are only trying to get home or have a place of interest in mind. There shouldn’t be an automatic negative assumption of a teen that is out past 10pm. Teenagers should not have labels placed upon them when they have not caused any trouble. Curfew laws create these labels on young teens and put down the ones who are innocent. Curfew laws discriminate against young teens who have done nothing wrong and serve no threat to the community.
Any teen like myself can be doing one of many innocent activities and end up in a heap of trouble because of curfews. Innocent teenagers will no longer be innocent because they were approached by police officers while walking home with friends. Then being forced to be driven home in a police car can create negative ...

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Works Cited

Blackford, L. (1997, June 16). Retrieved June 6, 2014, from Village Life: http://www.villagelife.org/news/archives/6-16-97_teenscurfew.html

Cowen, R. (2013, March 8). ACLU Sues Wanaque Over Teen Curfew. The Record .

Enfinger, E. (1993). 8 Reasons To Oppose A Statewide Curfew Law for Teens. Orlando Sentinel .

McClatchy. (2013). Avalon's Curfew/Not the Answer. Tribune Business News .

Schukat, A. (2006, Winter). A (Very) Short History of Youth Rights. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from SIRS: http://sks.sirs.com/cgi-bin/hst-article-display?id=S678346-0-6584&artno=0000242096&type=ART

Wagner, J. F. (2013, September 12). Retrieved June 6, 2014, from The Baltimore Sun : http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-09-12/news/bs-md-ci-baltimore-curfew-questioned-20130911_1_curfew-police-union-police-commissioner-anthony-w

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