Officials discuss implementation of daytime curfew - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Officials discuss implementation of daytime curfew

A committee of civic agencies met Thursday to talk about a proposed daytime curfew as a way to fight truancy.

Local business owners say truancy is a problem  According to Chris Turner, owner B&J Sundry convenience store and laundromat, truants try to hang out at his store all day, every day.

"I think they should do some kind of curfew because they're always out here just hanging out," he said.

During our interview, Turner noticed a student out of class.  We later learned the student was approved to be of campus, because of a suspension.

The Memphis City Council has talked about imposing a daytime curfew since 2006, when two children died in separate shootings.

"Make sure students, ages 5 to 17, are in school, off the streets, getting an education during school hours," council member Barbara Ware said.

Ware believes current truancy rules are too loose. Students can only be considered truant after skipping school for five consecutive days.  

Veronica Coleman-Davis, who chairs the new Daytime Curfew sub-committee, doesn't like the idea.

"If we don't hold parents accountable, and we don't hold the school system accountable," she said. "It's a little unfair to arrest our children."

Turner says the police keep a close eye on the students at the school around the corner from his store.  In fact, during our interview, there was a patrol car in the driveway.  The big question, though, is what difference will a daytime curfew make?">

"Our goal is to get them and encourage them to be in school and not get to that five consecutive days," Ware said.

Last year, the District Attorney's office handled nearly 500 truancy cases.  The Daytime Curfew subcommittee will share it's findings with the rest of the Memphis City Council.

For her part, Ware would like to see a daytime curfew implemented when school starts this fall.

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