The city of Baltimore, Maryland, is set to impose a heavy infringement on the freedom of movement of adolescents.
Along with a night time curfew of 9:00 p.m., whats being called a “public school curfew” between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. is expected to be signed into law by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The law, passed unanimously by the Baltimore City Council, was defended Monday by Councilman Brandon Scott, the lead supporter of the measure.
“We did that because it’s just old school common sense,” Scott 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.”
If children violate the curfew their parents will be fined $500. Families may avoid paying the penalty however, if they attend “government counseling.”
Children caught violating the new law will be taken by police to a “youth connection center,” reports Baltimore’s WMAR.
“What these laws do is give the ability to officers to stop any young-looking person who is outside at a certain time and ask what they’re doing, ask for identification. It affects not only those who are explicitly covered by the curfew, but reaches older adolescents and young people as well,” Sonia Kumar, ACLU Maryland staff attorney, told NBC News.
“Police aren’t social workers,” she added. “When we’ve talked to young people about their interactions with police, they’ve told a very different story about the nature of those interactions that suggest that in fact these situations will quickly escalate in ways that this bill’s supporters are choosing to ignore.”
Cities like Indianapolis, Indiana, Oakland, California, and Austin, Texas, are also looking at similar proposals.