Bill would toughen Baltimore teen curfew

He has worked overnight at the Baltimore Juvenile Curfew Center and Council Member Brandon Scott knows something about setting a deadline for getting children off of the streets---they're not tough enough.
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"The fact that a one-year old and a 16-year old have the same curfew in the city of Baltimore to me is crazy," said Scott.
The current curfew requires children 17 years old and under to return home by 11 o'clock Sunday through Thursday and by midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Under Scott's proposal, those 13 and under would have to be in by nine, while 14-to-16 year olds would face a 10 o'clock curfew during the school year and could stay out until 11 in the summer.
"If you have young people that can be out until 11:30... 12:00 during school time, of course they're not going to be ready to learn the next morning," said Scott.  
Scott's measure had drawn a mixed review from his constituents in the second district.
"No.  I don't think six and seven year olds need to be out, but if you're a teenager, I think you should be allowed to be out until 11," said Cynthia Howard.
"That's where the trouble lies with the teenagers," countered Joyce Fason, "No.  13 and under?  They belong in at a certain time--14 and 15 if I was the law."
Scott also wants to provide parents and guardians with a choice of counseling instead of fines or jail time to help get to the root of the problem if their children are choosing the streets over their homes at an hour when nothing good could come from it.
"No.  They're going to get in trouble," said Michael Johnson, "Nine times out of 10, they're going to get in trouble or might get kidnapped.  Anything could happen."
Scott also wants to do away with an exception to the current law, which allows parents to let their children run to the store for them at all hours of the night without violating the curfew.
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