Fla. Community Reviews Teenage Curfew Rules

By: Vanessa Nguyen Email
By: Vanessa Nguyen Email

Vernon, Florida is taking a second look at its teenage curfew. City council members in the Washington County town are planning to extend the curfew one hour later and up to 18 years of age as they hope it will reduce the problem of vandalism and loitering.

Teenagers in the City of Vernon will soon have less time to spend outdoors once a revised curfew goes into effect.

“We have children walking the streets when there's no reason for them to be on the streets," says Tray Hawkins.

Vernon city council president Tray Hawkins says a large part of the issue comes down to the city not having its own law enforcement agency. He says the problem escalated after they noticed vandalism at one of their renovated parks.

"We try to keep it kid friendly but at the same time, we want our kids to respect what we do for them. And when they did that, that was just a slap in the face to us," Hawkins says.

The current teenage curfew only applies from 10pm to 6am up to the age of 15. The new one will actually extend the curfew from 11pm to 6am Sunday through Thursday and 12:01am to 6am Fridays and Saturdays. The ordinance goes one step further and bans any suspended or expelled juveniles under 16 years old from coming within 1,000 feet of a school.

"If they can't act right in school, they don't have the rights to wander our streets during school hours," Hawkins says.

"My biggest question or concern is what are the students going to be involved in after 8, 9 o'clock during the week?" says Vernon High School Principal Brian Riviere. Riviere agrees there is a need for a curfew, but is concerned about the timing issue. "Now a curfew of 11o'clock during the school week I feel personally is too late, we would hope our students would be home much earlier than this."

City council members held their first public hearing on the curfew Monday night.

They must wait two weeks before the second reading at the beginning of the year.

The revised curfew cites a written warning for the first offense followed by a maximum fine of up to $500 and six months in jail.

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  • by Anonymous on Dec 15, 2010 at 12:24 PM
    that seems fine to me. but whose going to enforce it. they dont do it now. instead of just takin the kids home give them clean up duty. i know in my neighborhood at least 2 occassions teenagers are picked up by the cops at our neighborhood dock and all the cops do is take them home. this happening at 200am with 15 year olds... i am tired of it.
  • by TallyTrashTalks2 Location: Tallahassee on Dec 15, 2010 at 11:00 AM
    There would be no government entity even discussing this issue, if PARENTS were held more accountable for their minor children. I think the parent should be the one going to jail if a child violates a curfew. You inconvenience those parents who seem to care less where or what their child is doing a few times and they will surely start to pay attention!
  • by Anonymous on Dec 15, 2010 at 10:15 AM
    If parents would be parents and tell their kids (under 18 of course) what time they need to be home and in bed, then we wouldnt have this problem. In highschool, I was too busy with sports and homework to even go out during the week and sometimes not on weekends. But my curfew on weekends all the way up until I was 18 and out of highschool was 10PM. Yeah, I hated it then, but now I'm so glad that's how it was. I could have been wrapped up in so many bad things. Kids dont need to be out that late unless they are working. Come on parents... BE PARENTS!
  • by David Location: Tallahassee on Dec 15, 2010 at 09:37 AM
    I think that All Kids under 16 should be HOME by 8:30pm Sunday thru Thursday and by 9:30pm Friday & Saturday. Those that are 16 to 20 Should be Home by 1:30 Sunday thru Thursday and 11:30pm Friday & Saturday. No "Ifs and or Buts" about it.
  • by Chris Location: Tally on Dec 15, 2010 at 09:01 AM
    When I was growing up it was the parents responsibility to tell their kids what time they have to be home. My kids are grown now but you can bet they were inside and in bed at a decent time and if they were not home I knew where they were and what they were doing. Just another example of how society is going from partents taking responsibility for their kids and not the government making those decisions. It is a sad day when towns have to go to these lengths to protect their property.
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