Poll: Council Considering Daytime Curfew For Kids. Is it a Good Idea?

The purpose of the ordinance is to keep students from cutting class.

The San Ramon City Council is considering approving and ordinance that would give police officers the ability to treat truancy as a crime.

Currently, if an officer comes across a child that should be in school their options are to release the student to the school or a parent.

But, if the ordinance is adopted, Police Chief Scott Holder said students would receive a warning for the first offense and a citation with a fine if caught a second time.

The daytime curfew would be in effect between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on school days.

Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson spoke in favor of the ordinance at the council meeting Tuesday night, saying it is part of the DA's effort to prevent crimes before they happen.

Peterson cited statistics saying having students graduate from high school is one the best ways to prevent future crimes and that the best way to get kids to graduate is attendance.

The council is expected to make a decision on the ordinance at its May 8 meeting.

Do you think this is a good idea? Should police officers get involved with truant students, or should it be left up to the schools? Pick a selection in our poll and tell us what you think in the comments section.

Gregg April 25, 2012 at 09:27 PM
For what age range is this? What about home schooled, how do they prove to the police that they are legitimately out and about? And really, are we going to increase the number of police to do this 'schooling' too?
Karen April 25, 2012 at 10:44 PM
How about the parents? If they don't think having their kids in school is important, why should the kids care? I'm getting tired of the schools and the police having to do the parent's job!!!
NoCurfews April 26, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Government-mandated juvenile curfews are nothing more than a public-relations ploy to fire up support for media-starved politicians. Age-based curfews cause youth to be arrested for acts that would NOT be crimes if committed by adults. Many people don't realize how much effort is being diverted from more serious crime-related issues when a police officer stops to contact, arrest or give citations to juveniles simply because of the time of day they are found out in public areas. Juvenile curfews are a waste of police hours, taxpayer dollars, and an inefficient way to control crime. Exclusions to curfew laws do not prevent police from detaining and questioning innocent juveniles. Supporters of juvenile curfews often use skewed statistics and other fear-mongering tactics to garner votes for these unfair laws. There is no statistical evidence showing that curfews make any difference in reducing crime, and in some cases crime has even increased after curfews were implemented. The reality is that a lot of non-criminal youth need to be contacted and/or processed in an effort to weed out a small percentage of bad ones. Age-based curfews are nothing less than government persecution of a weaker segment of our society, and we as adults need to stand up against this continued injustice. Stop age-based curfews once and for all!
Arpana Grace Warren April 26, 2012 at 04:17 PM
This type of law is discriminatory to home schooling families. Police officers have no business giving my kid a citation for doing what he is supposed to be doing. Maybe he's on his way to or from the library. Maybe he's going for a bike ride (P.E.) Maybe he's doing volunteer work. Or maybe he's just taking a break. The point is, it is NOT a crime and it is NONE of their business.
paul hoffman April 26, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Another case of age discrimination, and an ASSUMPTION that children are all enrolled in schools that hold traditional hours. This is a parental responsibility, coupled perhaps with better parental notifications when their enrolled children do not show up in school. It puts a perfectly law-abiding child in the position of having to explain themselves at a time that they are not stealing, smoking, beating, etc. Just because a sole may be less than 'legal age', should they have less rights? Although not usually seen as an age discrimination issue, I believe it is...many of such erodings of what should be their rights. Maybe because I still remember times in the not so distant past where male youths were too young to smoke or drink, or to vote, but the gov't could force them to be involuntarily sent overseas to fight a war they didn't want, and to be killed. Since those times I have been sensitised to issues that likewise trample on their rights.
Melinda Bartlett-Blante April 26, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Once again there are those children who are homeschooled like mine. Granted mine are not out alone at the moment they are too young but others are old enough to go to the library etc on their own. then there are the surrounding cities(like mine) who are on a different school caledar than San Ramon. My city has 4 yee ar round schools that have 3 weeks off in the fall. so just because kids are out does not mean they are skipping school. The school district needs to do a better job communicating with the parents and inforcing attendance.
Longtime Resident April 26, 2012 at 05:26 PM
So where's your statistical evidence proving your point?
Janet April 26, 2012 at 06:38 PM
I rarely see any children walking/riding/hanging around while they should be in school. Is this a real problem that needs to be addressed with a curfew? Couldn't this be handled through school? I'm sure the police and schools already know who doesn't go to school on a regular basis.
Stacy April 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I agree with many of the comments. With public and private schools, alternative schools, charter schools and home schools all in one area how will the police keep track of who should be where and when? This crosses the line of family and government. Let the schools and family work together. I only see this as a waste of tax money and police time. I agree, the police know who the criminals already are in town. Why create issues for the majority when it's a few you are concerned about..
Rose Killion April 27, 2012 at 02:51 PM
As it has been mentioned before, there are many homeschooling families in the Tri-Valley Area. Over 500 that I am aware of. This law will require them to stay all to stay indoors for majority of the day. What if they need to go to the library or are meeting up with other homeschooling children for a project. Being outside is not a crime, and children should not be treated as criminals for it. Aren't there more important things for the police to be doing?
Anonymous April 27, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Instead of spending tax dollars on police involvement, they should be using that money to set up local programs in the schools that MAKE the kids WANT to be there! The truancy rates are high because these kids know they are wasting their time there! Put some real hands on learning opportunities there and the kids will come!!!!! What guy would pass up wood shop, metal shop, or auto shop? When I was a teen, we had all of these and the guys and some girls loved it! We even had a construction program, a business education center, full blown home economics program...what happened to classes like these?
Tina Razzell April 27, 2012 at 03:51 PM
This means that I, a Pleasanton resident can't visit San Ramon with my child when San Ramon has a school day. Different school districts have different school days, how are we expected to know when one school district is in session on any particular day? As it is they have so many days off and half days with teacher training days and holidays that's it's impossible to keep track of.
Patricia Shaughnessy April 27, 2012 at 08:21 PM
This is a parent and/or school matter, not a police matter. It would be an invaluable use of police resources for them to monitor the city's age discrimination policy. If anyone of any age is committing a crime, that is when we all expect the police to take action. Last I heard our citizens and legal residents are "innocent until proven guilty." There is no clause stating an exception solely based upon age. Unless this has recently changed, it would be best that the city council let the responsibility of truancy rest with the parents and the schools to whom the parents entrust their children's care. I graduated from high school at 16, had a part time job and attended the local JC. Thankfully I never had to prove my age to anyone while transporting myself about town; please allow this freedom to continue.
momofthree April 28, 2012 at 03:34 PM
This is absurd, ridiculous, inane!! More and more rights are taken away from parents. We don't need to spend tax payer dollars on this issue. Period. Are we still living in America?


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