CLAIRTON (KDKA) — Some young people from a group called Stay Positive Clairton showed up at City Council on Tuesday with an idea.
Tobias Jones, 15, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano that he spoke to Council about changing Clairton’s 10 p.m. curfew for under 18-year-olds during the summer months.
Jones: “Asked about changing the curfew. I think it’s too early for me and my friends.”
Delano: “What do you think would be a good time?”
Jones: “Around 12 o’clock.”
Students universally support the change.
“The kids, especially if you’re working as a teenager, just getting off at 9 or 10, you can’t even come outside without the cops coming up on you and trying to get you for staying out too late,” said Deven Fritz of Clairton.
The proposal includes a new ID card for kids between 14 and 18 who could stay out until midnight.
“It makes sense but I think a lot of people will forget it just for an excuse or something, but I think it’s a good idea to have them,” said Devlin Clifford, another student with Stay Positive Clairton.
While it’s no surprise that many young people love the idea of raising the curfew to midnight, there are plenty of adults who have a different point of view.
“No, I don’t think so; 10 o’clock is a better idea because midnight is kind of late, so I think 10 is the better curfew for the kids,” noted Mary Collier, a Clairton resident.
“I don’t think so. They could get into too much trouble that away. I’d rather they keep it at 10 o’clock,” added Cynthia Lukens, a Clairton grandmother.
The Clairton School District has its own concerns.
“I’m concerned about when the summer’s over transitioning back to the 10 p.m. curfew, and it also concerns me because we do have summer programs, said Alexis Trubiani, spokeswoman for the School District.
Clairton Police Chief Robert Hoffman says the change is up to council, but noted, “Over the years since the curfew has been 10 o’clock we have seen a significant reduction in juvenile crime such as criminal mischief.”
Councilman Richard Ford says the proposal is at the early stage of review and development, but agrees with Brandon Ziats, adult coordinator of Stay Positive Clairton, about the students’ role.
“These kids are interested in stepping up and playing a part in their community,” said Ziats.