July 23, 20XX
Teen Curfew: A Benefit to Youth?
How would you feel, as a parent, if your child was out late and didn’t return home? How would you feel if you received a phone call from police saying they have arrested your teen for criminal mischief? The way a parent may feel if they didn’t know the whereabouts of their children or how they would feel having to go to a police station to bail their teen out is anything but happy or joyful. We all want to keep our children safe. We don’t want to keep our children locked up for fear of something bad happening to them so we give them a curfew to be at home by. Some parents are not as strict on their kids as others so those kids are basically raising themselves. This is when the government should step in and make laws to protect those kids who have no guidance from their parents. The government has put into place in certain cities and states a law that pertains to underage minors. This law is basically a curfew that starts at midnight and ends at 6 a.m. The consequences for violating this curfew are, hours of community service, fines, counseling for the minor and their parents, and referrals to social services. Many minors and parents do not agree with this curfew. These parents and children argue that a curfew system will violate their constitutional rights such as their 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th amendments. (Le Bouef 3.) It is easy to understand why these youth would disagree with this curfew but hard to understand why parents would disagree with it. If there were a new and improved curfew system put into effect across the entire country, it could possibly cut down on the rate of missing children, combat juvenile delinquency, and ultimately keep teenager at home so they can form a bond with their parents during the most emotional time of their lives.
A missing child is always a touchy subject. When hearing about a missing child through the media, there is always some kind of remorse felt toward that child’s family. How would we feel if that missing child were ours? We would never want to experience that type of tragedy so we try to keep our children as safe as we possibly can. With a legal curfew in place, parents can breathe just a little bit easier knowing that law enforcement will be on the look-out for minors even more than before. Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice reveal that approximately 58,200 children were abducted in 1999 by nonfamily perpetrators (Finkelhor, Hammer, & Sedlak, 2002). Those 58, 200 children that were abducted in 1999 could possibly be slashed in half with a new and improved curfew system. This new system would not start at midnight but at a more decent hour like 9 o’clock. It would end at the same time which is 6 in the morning. When the sun goes down at night that’s when the predators come out looking for their next victim. The ideal victim of a kidnapper is usually children. This is because they are small and usually cannot fight back or resist. The goal of a predator is to usually kidnap for a ransom or kidnap for forced sex. The new curfew can decrease the risk of children being abducted and harmed. Predators will likely strike at night so putting a curfew into effect that has all minors off the street by nine o’clock will decrease the predators chances at kidnapping the minors and also have the minors at home at a decent time. Juvenile delinquency is another issue that seems to have every one wondering how it can be fixed. Implementing a curfew will not solve the problem all together but it will decrease the numbers a bit. Juveniles are in the stage of rebelliousness and wanting to be adults before they have matured. They are willing to do whatever it takes to disobey their parents and anyone who tries to tell them they cannot do something, to a certain extent. Juveniles will also push the limits of the rope just to see how far they can...