Shameless Wire, our new training program for young journalists, is in
full swing. Over the next few months, we’ll be publishing a number of
guest posts by Wire participants. This first series responds to
Toronto city councillor and mayoral candidate Giorgio Mammoliti’s
platform, which calls for a city-wide teen curfew.
by Rachel Lee-Thomas
Given the chance, some teenagers are practically nocturnal. We stay up late. Some of us stay out to odd hours of the night. Some drink alcohol, abuse drugs, do whatever they want on the darkened streets. Georgio Mammoliti, a city councillor and mayoral candidate, wants to put a stop to this - he thinks that we need a curfew for teenagers. He believes that it would help to decrease the crime rate.
On some levels, I do agree with Mammoliti. Having a set curfew for teens under a certain age would really help to keep them safe. The curfew would keep youth off of the sometimes dangerous streets, and into a hopefully safer environment. One of the things some teenagers do when they are out alone at night is experiment with drugs and alcohol. If teens are wandering outside, under the influence, it can be pretty dangerous. While teenagers are out in the streets having fun, their grades are suffering. If students were to be inside after a certain point, they would have more time to focus on school work.
If teens were inside at night, they might be a lot safer. While it’s true that teens can still drink and do drugs indoors, it’s a much safer environment than being alone outside. But it’s going to take a lot to get teens to listen. A curfew is a good idea in theory, but in the real world, it would be almost impossible to implement.
Unfortunately, these rules and restrictions would make most teenagers angry. Teenagers don’t want to be babied. We want to feel as adult and independent as we can. If teens are told that they must stay inside after a certain time, they might feel a need to rebel. The demand for fake IDs would increase. Teens might be more willing to pay for a fake ID, figuring they need it to stay out late. But owning ID would then give them the power to do all sorts of other things, from buying alcohol to going to clubs.
Overall, I feel that a curfew is a smart idea. It would keep teenagers safe, and in line. Their grades could improve, and there might be less crime. But realistically, it would never work in today’s world. Once the boundaries are set, most teenagers will find it almost thrilling to bend around the rules, and stay out anyway. It would take a lot to ever get this law off the ground.