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Dan Rackley

Dan Rackley is a US Naval veteran living in Philadelphia and a contributor to "Will They Ever Trust Us Again?"

October 28th, 2011 11:40 AM

Philly Youth Curfew Bill Passed

Well, the City of Philadelphia, amidst protests from members of the Occupy Philly movement; the changes were made to the youth curfew without any real incident.  The bill was passed almost unanimously with one lone vote from Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell.  I agree with her statement that you can’t fine your way out of curfew violations.  But the fines are something that is never meant to bring an end to kids breaking a curfew.

It’s supposed to try and curb kids doing it, the same way you wrap a bandage around a severely bleeding wound.  The fine of seventy-five dollars is really not that much.  The hours that the curfew imposes is going according to age groups, with youths being allowed to be out longer hours the older they are.

It’s a smart idea, but I can’t help but think where I’ve heard all of this before.  Some of you may have too.  Think about it, the older you are, the later you get to stay up.  Some of this had this type of a curfew imposed on us by, you guessed it, our parents.

I always think it’s a very fine line to walk when government tries to legislate better parenting.  But this is one case where it will work.  If it doesn’t work, and it doesn’t try to get parents to watch for their kids are at night than they will get hit with a strong message that directly attacks their wallets.  Sure the government shouldn’t be legislating parenting, but sometimes some parents need the extra kick in the butt to remind them of what their responsibilities are.

Parents should never wonder where their kids are.  Knowing what your kids are doing and taking responsibility is the very essence of the meaning of the word parent.  To guide and do the right things.  Obviously, there are some parents in Philadelphia that just do not care what their kids are doing.  The flash mobs of this past summer have proven that.

People should not complain one bit about the imposing of the curfew.  If they had any sense, parents should use this as a tool of implementing rules they should have been imposing without legal intervention.  A seventy five dollar fine covers the costs of a great many things that teenagers desire.  If a kid breaks curfew, they got no right to complain when mom and dad can’t buy them something they wanted.  Because they did it to themselves.

Although the ACLU is saying that this law is unconstitutional, I see no issue with it and no reason why they would be taking up this cause.  When the mayor of Westchester, PA imposed a citywide curfew after a rash of crimes this past year, nobody said a word.  It’s the same thing with the cell phone law, speed limits and not being allowed to drive drunk.  Because even if people doing those things don’t always end up doing something wrong, when it does it impacts more people than the person that was violating the law.  People should not be able to negatively affect the life of any other person.

So everyone should pipe down about the curfew.  If folks weren’t going out late at night and randomly attacking people, then maybe the Philadelphia City Council wouldn’t have had to pass this legislation.  And if you’re going to protest someone, protest the ones committing the violence.  Not the ones trying to stop it.

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