Curfew has not impacted students

Eryn Phillips

A recent citywide curfew has brought some feelings of resentment towards local government as some teens feel as though they are being punished.

Police say the curfew is intended to reduce juvenile crime by requiring teens under the age of 18 to be home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursdays and 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekends.

The curfew does not include students enrolled in the University of Alabama, Stillman College or Shelton College.

Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Andersen said the curfew is not meant to be malicious towards teens and “allows plenty of time for kids to have fun with their friends without getting into trouble.”

“The hope is that when we go back in a couple months from now and look at the number of arrests and citatations versus the overall juvenile crime rate, it will show that we made the right decision,” he said.

There are some exceptions to the rules of the curfew — work, school functions and emergencies.

Mayor Walt Maddox said there has not been much activity with the curfew since it was passed, but he did comment that the Tuscaloosa police are instructed to give one warning to teens violating curfew ordinances before taking disciplinary action.

Justine Philips, a local parent of two teens, thinks the curfew isn’t necessary.

“I think it’s an insult on my parenting,” Philips said. “It’s not my kids selling drugs on the streets. Maybe the mayor and police should be targeting them and not everyone. I raised my children.”

Philips said her children had a curfew before the city passed a mandatory one.

“I feel like its just another way for even the local government to tell me how to raise my children. Its’ absolutely absurd,” she said.

However, Jennifer Basile, a junior majoring in advertising, said she thinks the curfew is a good idea.

“Tuscaloosa is a college town. Minors cannot go to bars or enjoy the things that we can,” Basile said. “Their time will come. We were in their shoes once.”

Basile said she thinks it’s annoying when she and her friends go to see a movie on a Friday night and there are “tons of teens lining the Cobb, ruining the already over-priced movie.”

“The mayor and his council would not have passed a curfew in the first place if there wasn’t a need for one. If you sleep with a dog, you get fleas,” she said.