Saturday, June 24, 2006

Streetlights Come On

The Metroblog shares some thoughts on the New Orleans juvenile curfew.

This gets me to thinking...do curfews work at all? I mean, I remember getting home well after 9pm on weeknights when I worked my last two years in high school. If I had worked in the back of an actual sit-down restaurant, I probably wouldn't have gotten home before midnight. Then there is the neat fact that I always enjoyed going to a 9:30pm movie or something.

I mention this because there are curfews all over the place these days. What does it say that kids commit crimes, and adults commit crimes, but we choose to create additional crimes to nail the kids with. Then we let the kids get away with anything while they're at school, long as their parents complain.

Think about it you go out this Saturday night...

2 comments:

petallic said...

Then we let the kids get away with anything while they're at school

Speak for yourself.

patsbrother said...

It's illegal to drive if you are not of age in your particular state, and illegal to vote or smoke if you're not 18, and illegal to drink/purchase alcohol if you're not 21. What makes you think there is some novelty in distinguishing between children and adults?

In a place like St. Simons, there is nothing open later than 9 than the bars and the movie theatre (occasionally; during the year, I remember there being 4 and 7 shows, but no 1 or 9). There's no place for you to hang out safely other than other people's houses.

I see the purpose of curfews as three-fold (at least in an area such as the Island). One: it protects young people's safety (or do you not remember thirteen year old smokers thinking they can take on the world in the shadowy recesses of the Village?). Two: it protects other people's property (I have come to understand that adolescents and the adolescent-minded have the most peculiar urge to break things, which is most conveniently accomplished under cover of night). Three: if an officer of the law comes across a group of obnoxious kids acting stupid, it gives the officer good reason to tell them to shut up and go home (hooray!).

Sounds like good reasons to me, generally. I don't know if those goals are accomplished, though. I was at Island Players for many a long night sans parent. The only time I was ever actually asked if I was old enough to pass curfew, all the members of my party down at the playground were of age. (Oh! the playground. How unexpectedly gratifying you were.)