Love Notes ~ Some adults need a curfew, too PDF Print
Local Content - Opinions
Written by Marcia Love   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 22:02

Maybe I’m a bit of a loser who’s not with the in-crowd, but I’m the kind of person who likes to respect other people’s property.
So when the town proposed a curfew for all children 16 and under, I thought, why not?
Is it discriminatory to enforce a curfew for kids? I don’t think so. It’s not to say all youth are out committing crimes – it’s more a case of a few people ruining a privilege for everyone.
But it’s also fairly obvious not all of the vandalism and thefts around town are being committed by youth. Apparently there are a lot of adults who take pleasure in destructive behaviour. It’s too bad we can’t enforce a curfew for these immature grown-ups as well.
They have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde complex. It’s easy enough for them to act their age in broad daylight, but it’s also just as easy for them to switch on their disrespectful and careless alter-ego when it gets dark.
But until we can make a bylaw for all thoughtless grown-ups to stay indoors after sunset, let’s do something to try to keep our kids out of trouble.
It makes sense. Considering there is little for youth to do in town after businesses close for the night, what reason do people under 16 have for being out late? If anything, it’s dangerous. A curfew would let parents know their kids aren’t walking the streets and are safe.
Whenever stop signs start disappearing and profanity is appearing on public school property, there’s a big problem.
I’m guessing our town crew dedicates a certain amount of time each week to finding and repairing town property that has been vandalized or removed. That’s time and resources that could be better spent on any number of other tasks.
I’ve heard it suggested that if equipment at our playground is broken it shouldn’t be repaired to teach kids a lesson and save taxpayers’ money. A good point, but it’s probably not the children who are enjoying all our park has to offer that are vandalizing it. Should they really lose out because of others?
It makes me angry when I see how much work someone puts into trying to make our town more beautiful and welcoming only to have it mangled or stolen by someone who evidently has no regard for the effort put into it. Sadly, vandalism is something our Communities in Bloom Committee can’t fend off.
Getting back to the topic of bored youth and mischief, maybe part of the solution is the development of a youth centre. While the Assembly of God Church has a fantastic youth drop-in centre in the basement for its Wednesday night youth group, it’s not a place where young people can go every evening.
However, it is a good start where you can see what’s possible. As loud and crazy as it can get when the place is full, in the handful of times I have been there I’ve seen how respectful kids can be of property, even if it isn’t their own. They know if they want to keep enjoying the Wii and other video games provided, they need to be careful and play nice.
It’s proof that if kids have something they’re excited about that they view as valuable and feel they can call their own, they will treat it with care and respect.

 
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