Dallas Daytime Curfew Vote Delayed

The Dallas City Council voted to delay their final decision on a daytime curfew for school-age children on Wednesday, a proposal the ACLU says criminalizes children.

Opponents said the move interferes with parental rights and a student's civil liberties, while supporters said the curfew will cut down on truancy and crime. Many supporters, including Dallas police Chief David Kunkle, say they believe kids who cut class are often behind daytime home and car burglaries.

The ordinance may also help boost Dallas' unimpressive graduation rate, which, according to a recent study, is just more than 50 percent.

Under the ordinance, truant children and their parents could be fined up to $500 if the student is found out of class between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

There are exceptions to the proposed rule that would allow kids on the streets during school hours. Approved exceptions include: students who are supervised by their parents, school-approved work-study programs, lunch breaks at schools that sponsor an open-campus program and absences approved by a school official.

The proposal would expand the current nighttime curfew for minors, which is 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sunday through Thursday and 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m., Friday and Saturday.

The council voted to extend the nighttime juvenile curfew and revisit the daytime curfew issue during its meeting on May 13.

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