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Poll: Parents Talk Curfew for Kids

In this week’s Parent Talk, we ask you two questions: Do you think Minnesota youth should have a curfew? Should police treat curfew violations uniformly?

As a parent, sometimes it’s hard to remember the details regarding curfew.

I’m not talking the self-imposed, parent “you better be home before 10 p.m. or you’ll be grounded” curfew, but the curfews mandated by many local counties and cities.

Both Dakota County and Hennepin County, for example, have different curfew rules for kids, depending on their age and day of the week. For some areas, the curfew times for youth might be limited to a public place or establishment.  Of course, there are usually exceptions as well.

If your child violates a county or city curfew? The penalty could be different as well.

In this week’s Parent Talk, we ask you two questions: Do you think Minnesota children should have a curfew? Should police treat curfew violations uniformly?

Across several Patch cities in Minnesota, we’ve read incidents on our weekly police reports that some kids are getting citations or arrested for violating curfew.

Other communities, our police departments have not reported curfew violation citations or arrests. Does this mean that some communities never have anyone breaking curfew?

But, the manner in which curfew violators are treated could be different. Some youth might be given a warning, taken home, cited or arrested for their curfew breaking action.

Take our polls below and share your thoughts about curfews for juveniles in comments.

B. Martin July 15, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Only if the vandal is caught. Otherwise, the community pays for the repair through taxes or higher prices. This is one of the reasons that a communities have developed laws to regulate individual behavior. Not you or me, or any one person, is in the position to decide or dictate the parameters for behavior. Would you be willing to donate money to repair vandalism if your child is allowed to have no curfew?
Terry Elliott July 16, 2012 at 06:19 AM
OK Chris so you've dismissed crime, behavior, and parental responsibility, you've now succeeded in framing the argument to this: "the issue is whether parents who do care should be allowed to let their children be out later than some arbitrary curfew set by the government." But it's not arbitrary; the times have been pretty well thought out and crafted for specific ages. It's not "set by the government" any more than any other regulation is by elected officials charged with policing our community. And it definitely is about crime and the proven reality (for 50 years?) that kids get into mischievous behaviors when left on their own in the middle of the night outside. Car keying, tire slashing, mailbox vandalism, broken windows, alcohol consumption-- geez you know the list as well as I do. Your answer is simply: "well we have laws for that." And one of them is the curfew law, which is a painless way to get ahead of the curve in a preventative sense.
Annie S. July 16, 2012 at 03:12 PM
As far as my home was concerned, I never had a curfew growing up. I never got grounded either. Why? Two reasons - First, my parent knew where I was or how to get a hold of me pretty much at all times. Second, she knew I wasn't stupid enough to get picked up for breaking legal curfew. Even if I wasn't home, she knew I was INSIDE, wherever I was. So, with my background, what have I learned from reading these comments? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Shakopee Mom July 16, 2012 at 04:06 PM
In answer to the first poll question there is a state curfew..Minnesota leaves it up to the communities. I think Minnesota needs to set uniform state curfew laws, not leave it up to the community that you reside in because they vary from city to city. For instance Shakopee Curfew (from the city's website): To combat juvenile violence and crime, the Shakopee City Council passed a uniform juvenile curfew ordinance. Youth age 17 and under should not be out between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is an exception to the curfew for students who are lawfully attending, going to or returning from school, church or community sponsored athletic, musical or social activities or events, or place of employment. Shakopee police officers enforce the curfew ordinance seven days a week.
Shakopee Mom July 16, 2012 at 04:09 PM
This past week at 3 AM my daughter's car was set on fire, the police think it was set by juveniles. Just having a law on the books doesn't help if the violators are not caught. And the small curfew ticket fine ($50 for the first offense) that Shakopee has doesn't deter more curfew violations....the parent/guardians need to be fined (at a higher fee) for their children consistently violating curfew.

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