Thoughts on Teen Curfews

Matthew Winchester, Staff Writer

Curfews for teens, established both by communities and parents’ rules, have always been a controversial topic.

If teens are seen out past a certain time they are punished. These punishments include fines, imposition of community service, restriction of driver’s license privileges and even detention in jail. Every area has different punishments.

Curfews were promoted during the 1990s to reduce crime. In 1996, President Bill Clinton flew out to Monrovia, California to publicly announce the idea at the local high school. From there, curfews spread like wildfire and were implemented everywhere.

However, just because it’s the law for teens to not stay out past a certain time doesn’t mean teens are going to follow it. There were 2.6 million curfew arrests from 1994 to 2012; that’s an average of 139,000 curfew arrests every year.

“I think curfews are good. I live in the city limits, and it is not safe to be out late without an adult. I don’t feel safe at times,” said teacher Jesse Patrick.

Opinions on curfews are very diverse. Some think curfews are necessary because they protect teens from danger. Others, however, think curfews take away teenager’s freedom.

“I think curfews are reasonable,” said Kaya Perry, a senior.

In Horry County, people under the age of 18 are required to stay off the streets between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. Violating this curfew will result in a fine of up to $500 and/or 30 days in jail. Parents can be charged as well.

If it’s ever not safe to go out on the streets, there’s a possibility of a temporary curfew to be put in place for all ages. Hurricane Dorian was one example of this. During Hurricane Dorian, some streets were flooded, so it wasn’t safe to be outside past a certain time.

In my opinion, curfews for teens are unnecessary. I feel they stop teens from being free and also make it hard for them to grow up.