League City's council moves to modify current curfew

April 28, 2010 3:06:59 AM PDT
Regarding minors, there are two curfews in League City-- a nighttime curfew and a daytime one, and parents in League City are taking issue with the latter one.

Law enforcement officials say it's a tool to fight property crime, but parents and students say it amounts to harassment.

Currently, from midnight to 5am, and 9am to 2:30pm, juveniles aren't allowed in public.

"If my child and I have to be at Wal-Mart at 2am, or 10am, according to this ordinance, a police officer could cite me for having my child out during those hours," League City mother Debbie Salter said.

The ordinance has been in place for several years, and the city's police chief says it's a law enforcement tool to combat property crime.

"Often times, youthful offenders are committing property crimes in our community during the daylight hours," League City Police Department Police Chief Mike Jez said.

But home school students say it's impossible to police, and it equals harassment for those who with an unorthodox school day.

"Curfew affects dual credit students, and students who are on work study," home school student Rachel Salter said. "Students who have finished high school early or have a reduced schedule are at risk to be stopped, taking up their time, and issued a citation."

Curfew citations have been issued about once a month for the past three years, and council members say there isn't adequate data showing curfew violators are tied to property crimes.

"They didn't have any data to support whether it increased or decreased crime," said League City Councilman Tim Paulissen.

Either way, parents say the ordinance further labels students with legitimate reasons to be doubt as guilty.

"I really think it should be OK to be a minor, and be out in public, and not automatically be considered delinquent, up to no good," home school mother Dana Hacker said.

It appeared that parents and students were heard by council members. They voted 4-3 to modify that curfew ordinance in League City, pulling out the daytime portion.

It could officially pass during a second reading during next month's meeting.

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