With summer in full swing, city officials are looking to cut down on curfew violations through the awkwardly titled "10 Home, Bed, Fed" awareness campaign. For instance, were you aware that it's illegal for a child under 12 to be out past 9 p.m. on a weekday? Or that anyone under 18 must be home before 11 p.m. by government decree?
"Our goal is to prevent curfew violations by partnering with parents to keep kids safe," Mayor Rybak said in a press release.
Good, we say. There are simply too many heinous things for 11-year-olds to do after 9 p.m. They might play hide-and-go-seek after dusk. Or run about catching fireflies at nightfall. Or embark on late-night exploratory bike rides.
City Hall is thankfully putting an end to this sundown tomfoolery. And for good reason. Statistics show that these activities pose greater health risks than traditional American pastimes, such as watching television, chatting online, or bitching about Paris Hilton.
But is the current curfew enough to ensure child safety? We at City Pages don't think so. That's because kids under 18 are still allowed to roam the city streets during daylight hours as if they were free citizens. This is unacceptable. If officials wish to remove all danger, they must keep city youth holed-up indoors all day, everyday. Well, maybe not all day. An exception should be made for the hours between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., which would give neighborhood kids ample time to mow our lawns.
Unfortunately, though, officials remain unwilling to extend the curfew beyond nighttime hours. This places an unfair burden on parents. No parent should be forced to set guidelines for their child. Not when we have a perfectly competent city government to do so for us.
Please sign our online petition requesting City Hall to establishment a legally binding City Bedtime here.