JACKSON, Tenn. (AP, abc24.com) - A West Tennessee city plans to consider a proposal for a nighttime curfew on teens.
Jackson City Councilman Scott Conger said bringing the issue up for discussion was one of his campaign promises. City officials voted down a similar proposal in 2010 when council members and the community concluded a curfew should be a parent's responsibility.
Under Conger's proposal, most youths that are at least 16 would not be allowed outside in public places after 10 p.m. on weekdays without an adult, The Jackson Sun reported. The curfew would be in effect until 6 a.m. On weekends, youths would be allowed to congregate at public places until 11 p.m. Restrictions for those who are at least 17 years old would start an hour later.
It would impose a $50 fine on parents of repeat offenders.
"I think we would do the city of Jackson a great service to pass this law," Conger said.
Feelings about the curfew are mixed. Some say it would be hard to enforce; others say it could deter crime.
Parent Theresa Anderson said she doubts crime would be reduced and she doesn't think it's fair to penalize parents.
"We really don't have the money to be paying fines because our kids are not in the house by a certain time," she said.
Her son, 15-year-old DeVantGe Anderson, said the curfew would not have a big impact on academically focused students like him because he is usually home at night.
"It would help a certain amount of kids," he said. "Parents need to understand what activities their students are involved in."
However, he said he didn't think it would deter criminal youths because they are breaking the law anyway.
Mother and son said a curfew would work only if parents help to implement and explain it.
Some council members say they favor more research before making a decision on the matter.
The issue is on the council's agenda for discussion in February.
Information from: The Jackson Sun, http://www.jacksonsun.com