Mayor Announces Curfew in Latest Crackdown

Mayor Announces Curfew in Latest Crackdown

( – When one scans through the headlines of various news agencies in America, it’s all too common to catch sight of a story about mobs of teenagers causing trouble. One East Coast city is taking steps to lessen the risk of another event like the one where two teenagers were shot by someone in the crowd as police officers were attempting to gain control of more than 200 juveniles battling one another.

It’s 10 O’clock, Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

The trouble took place on the evening of Easter Sunday in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, Maryland, and by the time control was reasserted, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old were shot and wounded. In response, the city’s mayor, Brandon Scott (D), has instituted a citywide curfew for teens that will run from the Friday before Memorial Day weekend through the last Sunday in August.

According to the curfew rules, which Scott had updated during his time on the Baltimore City Council, children under the age of 14 will need to be off the street by 9 p.m., and for those who are 14-16 years of age, the limit will be set to 10 p.m. on school nights and 11 p.m. on weekends. The parents of children found breaking curfew could face fines as much as $500, and the teenagers will be taken to a city youth center to be reunited with them.

Scott claims the “curfew alone is [not] about saving young people from committing acts of violence,” rather it is another tool in their arsenal to shield them from violence and connect the parents and the children with city services. He went on to say he believes these kids are unsupervised quite frequently, and part of this plan is to stress the need for parents to know where their children are in the evening.

This is only one event in a recent spate of mobs of young people coming together, with the end result being chaos and violence. The same weekend as the Baltimore incident, it was reported that as many as 150 teenagers rioted at Worlds of Fun amusement park in Kansas City, Missouri. Because of this mayhem, there is now a chaperone policy in place that says all guests who are “ages 15 years old or younger must be accompanied by a chaperone who is at least 21 years old to be admitted to, or remain in, the park, after 4:00 p.m.”

The part of Scott’s plan that emphasizes the need for parents/caregivers to know the location of their children finds support in a study that falls under the Department of Justice (DOJ), which found that the better the adults were informed, the lower the chances of the children being involved in crime. Another factor that could reduce the chances of violence is the timing — several studies have been done, like the one at Iowa State University, that link the heat of the summer months with an uptick in violent behavior.

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