COMMENTARY: Is Baltimore Mayor Right To Support Curfew Targeting Black Teens?

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  • Are Baltimore teenagers – many of whom are African-American – now under the equivalent of house arrest? Teenagers and children in Baltimore are preparing to experience one of the strictest curfews in the nation. Opponents say these kids will be on city-wide lock down, which will cause even more problems for residents and police.

    The new law — which was approved by the city council and has the support of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (pictured) — requires children under 14 to be home by 9 p.m. year-round.

    Teenagers 14 to 16 years old would have a curfew of 10 p.m. on weeknights during the school year and 11 p.m. on weekends. The curfews are among the earliest curfews in the nation. The new law also imposes a daytime curfew during school hours — 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. — restricting youth under 16 from being in public places or stores when they should be in school.

    “We did that because it’s just old-school common sense,” Councilman Brandon Scott, the bill’s lead supporter, said. “If you’re going to ask young people to be up and ready for school at 6:30, 7 o’clock in the morning, then they should not be out at 11 p.m. at night.”

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