Dallas Mulls Daytime Juvenile Curfew

Parents could be responsible for $500 fines.

Dallas' Public Safety Committee, eight members of Dallas' City Hall, is expected to soon discuss expanding the juvenile curfew into daylight hours in the same way that Hurst-Euless-Bedford did in 2008.

Dallas' current juvenile curfew law only covers the hours between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturdays, the curfew goes into effect at midnight.

Proponents of expanding the curfew want to include the hours of 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and insist that if truancy can be curtailed, so can crime. Mayor Pro Tem Elba Garcia said that in 2008,  63 percent of juvenile arrests took place during school hours and that the majority of home burglaries in that year were caused by minors.

Officials with H-E-B said unexcused absences dropped by nearly 10,000 since the curfew was implemented in their district.

Officials with the Dallas Independent School District said the daytime curfew might not only cut crime, it would increase the attendance at Dallas' schools which would increase money from the state.

There are, of course, the standard exemptions including those students who are traveling to and from work or for those who have graduated early.

Under the proposed plan, parents could be fined $500 if their child is guilty of truancy -- one part of the plan that parents are against since some say they can't control whether or not their child stays on campus.

Dallas plans to hold a public hearing on the matter March 25 with a final vote scheduled for April 22.

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