A teenager’s anti-curfew letter appeared prominently on the editorial page of a the main newspaper of a county considering a teen curfew. The letter’s title was “A teen’s view on the curfew” and the writer urged politicians to consider alternatives, such as more policing, instead of confining all teenagers to their homes. The letter added that most crime involving teenagers occurs in the afternoon.
Politicians in Montgomery county, Maryland, plan a vote on a teen curfew soon. A fight between youth gangs gave curfew proponents an opportunity to push their law.
Letters do have an impact. Like comments online, other people read them. Letters are an easy way to publish your comments in the paper without having to get a job at a newspaper, though that would be better. Your letter sits right next to valued commentary from the newspaper editors.
Here’s the letter:
Why should all the teens in the county have late-night privileges taken away from them because of just one group of crime-committing teens? Putting restrictions on all teens is unfair. The teen curfew issue [â€œUpcounty Citizens Advisory Board supports teen curfew law,â€ Oct. 18] should be thought out carefully by the advisory board.
It should find another way to solve the teen crime problem. Maybe increasing police patrol on the border of Prince Georgeâ€™s County and Montgomery County. It would be fairer to target criminal activity, not the many law-abiding teens throughout the county. What about midnight showings of movies or coming home from a party? Couldnâ€™t teens raise the suspicion of their parents by being out very late at night? Wouldnâ€™t teens commit crimes in the hours when people would expect them to be home by themselves?
County Council member Philip Andrews offered these police statistics: â€œâ€¦largest percent of youth crime was committed between 2 p.m. and 5:59 pm, rather than the evening and early morning.â€
Police should have extra patrols in the hours they suspect teen criminals to be out. I understand the reason for considering a curfew, but if there has to be a restriction on innocent teens, please, advisory board, reconsider.
Rebekah Rashford, Gaithersburg
See the letter in the Maryland Gazette.
Read the ACLU’s letter writing tips.