Curfew supported but needs some changes

Dear Editor;

I wish to express my opinion in response to last week’s article regarding the possible youth curfew, in many ways I agree with the editor’s opinion. Attempting to curb vandalism, while at the same time being lenient on responsible teens are obliviously important, careful considerations.

What I don’t so much agree with is the implementing of section 14 of the proposed curfew bylaw that will allow RCMP to distribute monetary fines to youth and the parents. The article specifically stated that the onus should be put back on the parents and the parents be reprimanded and fined as well as the offender.

I believe most parents try their hardest and do their best when it comes to raising their children. Shift work, single parenthood and other circumstances already contribute to parenting and financial struggles for many people that may become subjected to these repercussions.

As an example, what if a family is already dealing with a rebellious teenager who may sneak out of a home while you’re asleep/working at night or doesn’t come home at all when told to? I am sure these parents would love for this child to ‘follow the rules.’ Will this bylaw really be the answer for the teen that is not obeying rules/guidance from those that love him/her? Fining the parents is not the answer. On top of heartache, family members of troublesome teens may now become pressured into staying up all night to either keep a child in or look for one who hasn’t come home for fear of being fined.

Serving and protecting will not occur by handing out fines to already struggling parents that are trying their best. This will only add stress to an already fragile family situation. I believe that the police should be more focused on helping the parents of these ‘offending’ teenagers by locating them, escorting them home and working together to recognize who these troublesome teens are and reprimanding them through alternate, responsible means. Haven’t we learned by now what doesn’t work? Monetary fines aimed at the parents probably won’t be anymore effective than heavy-handed police enforcement would be on these unmanageable teens. Fining appears too easy for the police and not aimed at the problem.

Additionally, consider the parents who are already working hard at managing these teenagers. Would this mean that their personal, family and now financial woes be subjected to everyone through the police blotter every week? Weekly, people are being subjected to untrue, degrading, humiliating stories in this article, which appear to be written for entertainment purposes at the expense of someone else’s heartache and difficulties. I see this so-called ‘tool’ bylaw as another source of information that will be used as a form of gossip by a non-professional writer who lies and writes about incidents that are not even his own case-files! Family struggles should be dealt with individually and privately if to prove successful.

Let’s think about how the offender can be held responsible individually…what about community service or something that would benefit instead of victimizing another? Ideas anyone?

Wanda Ryan

Ponoka