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Should Minors under 18 have a Curfew?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,985 times Debate No: 20089
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
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First round is for Acceptance Only, Rules, and Defintions.

What is a curfew? based on wikipedia. 1. " An order by a government for certain persons to return home daily before a certain time. It can be imposed to maintain public order" 2. "An order by the legal guardians of a teenager to return home by a specific time, usually in the evening or night. This may apply daily, or vary with the day of the week, i.e., if the minor has to go to school the next day." 3. "A daily requirement for guests to return to their Hostel before a specified time, usually in the evening or night."

Whoever accepts this debate; must be willing to debate that minors should have curfews. Me who is taking the con side of this debate will debate reasons why minors shouldn't have curfews.

My rules are simple when it comes to debates. As long as you put good thought behind your argument than anything goes. You can use as much or as little sources as you want. So, basically you have 8000 characters to convince everyone and me.

There is four rounds that we'll debate on key issues of minors having curfews.

Disclaimer: This is for government curfews. I support all parental curfews, because that's the way it should be.

Happy New Year's Everyone ;-)
Or Happy New Year's Eve


Hey this is my first debate, I just recently joined. so looks like I am defending government curfews.

I believe government should issue curfews for minors. Some say that government is restricting freedoms and rights of the citizens.

But I point out that there has always been restrictions when it comes to minors. Government has restricted the right to drive to ages sixteen and above. Government has restricted smoking to legalized adults and drinking is legal when you turn 21.

Why has government done that? There is consensus that a minor does not have the best decision making skills. As a result restrictions have been placed on their legal rights.

Night time is often the most dangerous time of day. Curfews must be placed to protect the minors from endangering themselves.
Debate Round No. 1


Alright we begin with round two. My opponent posted his argument about curfews. I hold those points valid. I've argued this sense middle school and I've done both sides. So, I know both arguments well. The Pro side typically explains it's for safety and protection. Now I won't bash the idea of safety and protection just yet.

I'll start out with a wiki definition of a Minor. "In law, a minor is a person under a certain age — the age of majority — which legally demarcates childhood from adulthood; the age depends upon jurisdiction and application, but is typically 18. "Minor" may also be used in contexts not connected to the overall age of majority; for example, the drinking age in the United States is 21, and people below this age are sometimes referred to as "minors" even if 18.[citation needed] The term underage is often used to refer to those under the age of majority, but may also refer to persons who are under a certain age limit, such as the drinking age, smoking age, age of consent, marriageable age, driving age, voting age etc, with these age limits often being different than the age of majority.

Basically the "law" considers a minor someone under a certain age. Currently in the United States the age of majority is 18. However there are many restrictions on drinking, driving, and smoking in regards of health and safety.

My opponent has established there is restrictions set by the government.

Curfews in a general are designed to keep "citizens" in their houses past a certain time. Generally in times of great emergency; the President will enact a nation wide curfew that effects everyone. However local governments enact curfews to target anyone under 18.

Generally its stereotyped that minors don't make wise choices. However I debate the contrary. Sure a minor who's extremely young, may not make as wise decisions as an older individual. However there are many that do wise things. Even late at night minors will make the right decisions. There will always be crime and weirdo's out there. However most minors do crimes because they believe they have to. When you stereotype someone long enough. Than that's what they become later in life.

I would basically call a curfew on minors a type of ageism or stereotype. Safety is a major concern. However maybe minors feel safer out on the streets. Maybe they come from abusive parent's who yell at them or in a extreme case beat them. To me, forcing someone to do something is wrong. Even if its right. Everyone has a right to choose what they want to do. When minors get oppressed long enough they tend to break out or lash out. That could be related to "Teen Violence and Crimes".

To me I judge everyone individually; never one group as a whole. Because there is a lot of innocent minors out there. Who are forced to be under strict curfews. Of course ordinances allow exceptions which can be mal-inforced. I.E reading an article where 20 teens got rounded up at a movie theater even when parents were present. The teens of course got handcuffed and sent by paddy wagon to the police station to be processed. However parents demanded there child to released. Of course the police never listened to the parents.

Now we move onto constitutional grounds. Are curfews constitutional? Out of every court hearing to date. Most have ruled them as unconstitutional or to vague. Now when we move to the vague territory; it proves it didn't meet the cities interests.

What Amendments are infringed? Typically the 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th.

The key right infringed is "Freedom of Movement"

Here's a video done I assume from a school project. I'll close with that sense we still have 3 rounds after this one.


Note: Video goes to top right corner.


Thank you for your reply.

My opponent believes that statements like "minors can't make good decisions" are unproven and come from stereotypes. I believe the opposite.

Medical research shows that the brain of a human does not finish developing until they are in their 20's. As a result minors have not full developed their cognitive thinking areas. Their decisions making therefor is not the same as an adults. This reasoning is why we have a set drinking age, a set smoking age, and other age restrictions.

My opponent argues that a legitimate reason for minors to be able to go outside and walk is that they are under stress. I believe that these situations are rare. A more probable situation would be minors going out to drink.

My opponent also brings up specific cases of times where police action seems unfaired. I feel like this is ignoring the big picture. These are isolated incidences. Most of the time curfews are enforced properly and can be effective in lowering teen crime rates. A specific case I read was an article where minors were drinking outside past curfew and the police caught them and charged them with underage drinking.

As for the constitutionality of curfews, many courts who struck down curfews would later upheld them after the curfews were amended.

Supreme court case have set precedence with the fighting words provision. It is to make sure that you can't say what ever you want if your words are hurting others. That is why people who slander can be sued. It is perfectly constitutional to make laws protecting people by restricting freedoms. A society where everyone can exercise unrestrained freedom would be chaotic and anarchy. That is why we government set up to regulate them.
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank my opponent for his reply to my argument. I will agree with my opponent on medical research. Indeed medical research about the human brain has shown that the brain doesn’t stop growing until 21 or 22 years of age. That’s why most drinking and tobacco laws are set to 18 to 21. I’ll agree that cognitive skills are lower than adults. But, there are minors who’ve made better decisions than adults. So, this in theory can be a gray area, in terms of what minors can do cognitively; sense they’re still learning and growing.

However where I come from on my argument, is that sure someone who’s 5 years old can’t make a decision of a 13 or 15 year old. However, I don’t expect a 5 year old to be leaving home like a 13 year old. Who’s going through a major life process called puberty. When you go through this stage you transfer from childhood to adulthood and can start at 11. So, in between this time your brain grows cognitively, and your body grows physically to make you more like an adult. During this time children grow more distant from their parents and go more independent. Minors who reach teenage years want to grow more independent. So, they should have the right to do so. Even though the “Law” considers them to young yet to leave their parents and I agree sense they might not be able to financially be able to support themselves.

Now how do we apply this to curfews? The angle I was approaching from, about stereotypes on minors comes from what people perceive about them. My opponent gave a likely reason about what a minor would do under stress. But, it’s perceived they would do underage drinking under stress. I’ve been through lots of physical and psychological stress which involved lots of long walks and breakdowns. I’m not afraid to share why. When I was 11 my mother committed suicide by overdosing on drugs. I was mentally devastated, and tended to be a loner, and leave home a lot sense I couldn’t stand being there. I lived with my grandparent’s for a time. Then I came back home for a long period of time. Did I go out and drink? No, I got enrolled in 24 hour fitness and worked out late at night and came back. Never did I do anything illegal, or do anything that could raise a concern. Now I can only speak for myself. However, when you imprint the idea that a minor is doing something wrong late at night, it’s typically under the stereotyped notion their doing something wrong or breaking the law. I was 11 when this happened. So, you may question why my dad would let me outside so late. Well, the fact is he was depressed and had a hard time. I had a hard time as well. Yet I didn’t get depressed because I did something. Counseling helped me and my dad through rough patches of time. He’s doing much better now, and is currently applying for Boeing.

I believe I need to change pace though and go onto other reasons. I touched base on this slightly on my other argument about mal-enforcement. My opponent gave a good reason behind that it’s mostly isolated incidents, and tend to draw away from the big picture. I’ll try to explain more on this now. Police have to follow ordinances in every law, and have to enforce the law or laws based on ordinances. However curfews are no exceptions sense they’re a form of temporary law. Now police have to follow the rules. Most curfew ordinances allow police to simply right up a minor outside past curfew hour. Some more intense ordinances allow police to detain minors. However police can use whatever amount of force necessary to take a minor into custody. This leads into what if the minor runs, or resists detention which by the way isn’t arrest. Also some ordinances allow police officers to drive them, to city hall or a shelter where a parent must pick them up or authorized guardian, until than the minor can’t leave. This typically ties into the above ordinance about police detaining minors past curfew hour. I’ll post a youtube link later about the article I read. It will give more specific details on what happened and the user’s opinion. It relates to mind so, that’s why I’ll post it. You have to understand that police have rules to follow to. Most of them don’t unfortunately, and that’s why there’s mal-enforcement.

Now I’ll move back into the constitutionally of curfews. My opponent believes there constitutionally sound based on protecting people. You may have a point there, but it fails when you put it against the 14thAmendment. The government can’t legally abridge personal freedoms. I can see the restriction of freedoms on individuals who’ve broken the law, and have a mandate not to have certain freedoms. The 1st Amendment also prevents the abridgement of freedoms as well. The Founding Fathers of America never meant for the government to grow to powerful. I agree on what unrestrained freedoms could do to make a country grow chaotic over time. That’s why we have a police force, and laws that prevent “overuse” of freedoms. However a curfew is a much overstretched method of abridgement of personal freedoms. It’s about rhetoric of public safety vs. Minors and their personal freedoms/privileges. It’s true that some court cases did uphold curfews after the modifications. However they stayed neutral on what curfews could or could not do. That’s why some curfews are getting the boot today after a few years. It’s because they haven’t showed much in return other than a loss of resources and time.

Most research done by major organizations have not found any improvement on the situation of teen crime. For example the “Justice Policy Institute” that took an in depth research study of curfews and found an increase in juvenile crime. However they found no decrease in property damage crimes and teen violence. Also in 2008 they wrote an article about the number of teens imprisoned for non-violent offenses. The Justice Institute like many other organizations question the curfews on the sole basis are they doing anything? I can say yeah there doing something. But, there not doing what has to be done which is decrease crime and prevent it. Curfews are definitely taking away from the real issue which is how do you decrease crime? Teens who typically land up in the slammer as it’s called, is because most of them are troubled and need someone to talk to them or relate to them.

There have not been any strong facts that prove curfews are affecting crime at a positive level. The only thing arguable about curfews is there safety qualities. Keeping minors at home might protect them from violence, and from other types of threats. But, why should the government decide what’s best for minors? I believe responsibility lies on the parents. Sure, some parents might not be the parental figure in the household. But they have a right to bring up there kids anyway they see fit. As long as they don’t starve or physically beat their children. That’s also protected in the Constitution of the United States that the parents can raise their children without interference of the government.

I’ll turn it over to the pro side again. I would like to thank my opponent for this debate so far. I’ll post that video on here. It might show up on the right corner again. I'll also post a link to the article about Juvenile Justice from the Justice Policy Institute.



Thank you for your rebuttal. I am sorry for your loss. I will now continue with my argument.

My opponent and I were discussing the cognitive development of the brain. He believes that since there are children that have made better decisions than adults, this is a grey area. It is true that there are minors that have made better decisions than adults. We have some children entrepreneurs making millions of dollars compared to some alcoholics. But there are also adults like FDR or Ronald Reagan if you are conservative that have amazing decision making abilities compared to your average delinquent.

I also bring up another piece of evidence, voting age restrictions. Why do we have voting age restrictions? Because we believe minors will not have the proper decision making skills to vote. Sure there are minors who might be more knowledge than some adults. But I guarantee that the majority of relatively uninformed adult voters will be more knowledge and have better decision making abilities than the majority of fifteen year olds.

I would like to clarify the point I was trying to make with the drinking example. I did not want to imply the minors in my example were stressed. I wanted to show that sometimes the minors who go out are not stressed, and that they could be taking advantage of the lack of parent supervision to do illegal things like drinking underage.

I would like to look into the police issue. My opponent believes that police will not properly enforce any curfew law, saying that they will try to arrest minors who are not committing felonies. I bring up the point that there is precedence. If a man is running away(or driving away) because he got a speeding ticket, would the police not run and try to arrest him. The man would be interfering with the process of the law. If a person smoking pot in Ann Arbor(where it is a misdemeanor) was caught by the police and started running away, the police won't just stand there.

I would like to go back to the constitutionality of the curfew. I have point out there is precedence if the courts being ok with laws abridging freedoms. If we did not have restraint over freedoms, we would be a chaotic society/anarchy. If we didn't restrain freedoms and followed the 14th amendment with no exceptions, felons and criminals could vote in elections. If we didn't restrain freedoms and followed the 1st amendment with no exceptions, people could openly lie about their products, misleading the public about its effects.

I unfortunately have about a minute to post this at this point. So I will say that major cities like LA have seen a decrease in juevenille crime like petty theft with curfews.

I will now turn to the con side.
Debate Round No. 3


I would like to thank my opponent for his speedy reply. It’s alright I’m doing much better now, weightlifting and counseling helped me a lot of the way. Before we head into the final round, which I like to call the filibuster round, where we try to conclude are arguments. I would like to say my opponent has been doing great in this debate so far.

We have brought up a lot of different type of age restrictions that the government has established over the years. My opponent has turned to the voting age, because he believes that adults can vote better than minors. You may agree or disagree on this as you read further through this rebuttal. Sure, but the sole premise is teenagers. Sure, a 5 year old can’t vote because he or she doesn’t know what it is. But, I believe if you know what voting is than you should be able to do it. Why do you think schools offer mock elections and schools do a student body government? It’s to instill what voting is about and about student body leadership. Today depending on your state, voting is actually quite easy to do. It may take a lot of reading, but if you have a general idea of what the bill, amendment and so forth is. Then why shouldn’t you be able to voice your opinion? My opponent argues age and cognitive skills which are valid. But what prevents them from understanding it? I’ll back track a little to government restrictions on freedoms. We restrict freedoms based on standards set by the U.S Constitution. Freedom of Movement typically only gets restricted when you’re a threat to yourself or others, or if you’ve broken a law that strips you of that freedom for a short time.

I’ll back track to my argument about mal-enforcement. Sure a police officer will chase after a person who runs or tries to get away. But should they use as much force as they want? Let’s try to think outside the box for a second. Should police pummel people who’ve already surrendered after their caught? Police tend to use over excessive force on people who aren’t resisting. It’s not to say they always do that, or intend to do that. But they do most of the time. Especially is they’ve already put the cuffs on. A good example I can use is my experience. Now I didn’t resist or do anything other than wait at a bus stop to head home. This was at Tacoma which has a curfew from 12 to 6am for everyone who’s under 18. Of course I’m 18 so legally I could be outside. I visited a longtime friend that day. Well, long story short. The police drove by and eventually drove back, and questioned me believing me as a minor. They handcuffed me not letting me show my I.D to prove my age. So, I ended up waiting for a good 20 minutes or so before they let me go. Ended up missing my bus and had to stay the night in Tacoma. You may believe this to be an inconvenience and not much more. However, the police never let me legally prove my innocence let alone put the handcuffs on right. The only violation they did that day was not allowing me to show my I.D which is part of the ordinance.

We can briefly touch base on constitutionality again. My opponent has a point on where we do abridge freedoms at certain times. However this is only when an individual is deemed a danger to the public, or has broken and a crime and has to have limited freedoms. However were talking about the youth who have very limited freedoms. We’ve ignored the big question, should minors under 18 have a curfew? We’ve touched base on lots of different reasons why there should and why there shouldn’t. However the roots of curfews came from safety and to prevent crime. Which my opponent stated Los Angeles has seen a decrease in juvenile crime and petty thefts. He’s right however that was a study done around 2000 – 2001 with the mayors of the cities. The current ratings of juvenile crime have risen, however other crime remained nearly the same with no decrease. Curfews tend to be judged based on how

I’ll turn it over to the pro side again. Sense my opponent didn’t have as much time to conduct his argument as mine. The next round which is round 5. Will be a filibuster where we try to convince everyone on why they should or shouldn’t have a curfew. Then we leave it up to the voters to decide.



liubeeli forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


I'm doing this argument via a mobile device so bear with me on this one. Okay this is the filibuster round as I would like to call it. Okay I would like to thank everyone who have read this debate. So far my opponent and I have argued about why there should or shouldn't be a curfew imposed on minors under 18. In the end it'll be upto you to decide. I'll thank those who will vote here shortly. Now I'll get into my argument.

Okay I know your wondering what the importance of this debate is? Well I chose this one out of personal interests. Also I'm a firm believer that the youth deserve rights. Let's think of my argument about the Constitution. Do you believe the Constituion leaves out minors? I mean sure, minors don't have as many rights as adults. Should that exclude their protection? No, it it shouldn't. My opponent argued strong points on why we restrict freedoms. The country would go into chaos, and society as we know it would fail. I can accept that. But what we need to understand is, that we restrict freedoms based on an individual's actions. Sure someone who committed a crime will likely cause more harm in the publics eye. So, that's why the police restrict their movements, in order to protect the general public. The Constituion provided everyone to the right of movement and the right to assemble peacefully. Now curfews on minors restrict their rights, to movement and assembly. Do you believe that's right? Now I'm not holding any grudges to people who believe in curfews.

Now I get into this part of my argument. Should we not allow the parents to raise their children the way they want to? I know what your thinking now. That parents don't have the right to beat their kids let alone abuse them. Those typically range to federal offences. Generally I believe parents should take charge and lay down safe rules. Parents will likely set restrictions based on their child's age and maturity. The government restricts everyone under a certain age, without showing any care towards innocent law-abiding minors. I'll take into the consideration that parents aren't showing this type of role. But, they can set rules more suitable to their children. I believe minors and patents have lost the trust that binds family's together. You the parents who are possibly reading this, have the right to raise your children the way you see fit. The government is not Constituionally allowed to intervene in your affairs unless your breaking a law.

My opponent had a great point about the brain, and medically how minors are not as adapt as adults. But once your child or children have reach puberty. They are now going through the changes on becoming an adult. This means more freedoms and responsibility on them. Trust me they'll want to be more independent and want to grow up. I would recommend at this point you take then seriously. But always stand firmly about being their parent. My opponent should understand, that minors who are up late have very good reasons on being out late. Some may not but thats the part of growing up. We make mistakes and we typically learn from them.

I went into mal-enforcement for a while. It's true these cases can be rare, and may distract from the main pupose. But I want to make it known that your children shouldn't suffer through the humiliation of getting detained for a pointless curfew ordinance. If the police abuse them I would recomend that you take strong legal action. Police do over abuse force on suspects, and on innocent people who are suspected of doing something wrong.

Please keep in mind that my arguments, are on the sole basis that we should allow teens who've committed no crime a chance. Please note that I'm not against curfews mandated by parents. We should allow parents to mandate and enforce them. Parents will likely be more fair. But, will also hold their ground in terms of punishment. I can't tell you what to do or believe in. I just trust people who have read this can see where I'm coming from. Later I'll most many sources I've used in the past.

Sorry for that side note. But let's get back into why curfews aren't neccery. We know curfews mandated by local governments are geared more towards the prevention, stopping, and public safety in the community. However there is no such evidence today, that shows a definitive answer is it effecting crime? Well some reports done in the past say crimes decreased or remained the same. But today the crime rates are increasing, and the amount of juveniles being detained. The major law that gets broken during a curfew is? Simply a curfew violation being out past curfew hour. That's way different from property damage and teen violence.

Curfews are also used to protect the general public. I just want to know why people are afraid of a minor? A minor depending on who they are as a person. Could be way different than assumed by the public. That's why stereotypes on minors isn't funny. No one can deny there's stereotypes out there. I see them all the time in the Simpsons. (Favorite Show). Okay now let's get back to curfews. To me curfews are a waste of valuable resources to a community. Even police agree that rounding up minors is a waste of time. Trust me it is, also it could prevent the police from stopping a real crime.

Should we protect someone against their will? I don't thinkable should or can. Someone has the right to live his or her life the way they want. We don't have the right to prevent them from enjoying their right to happiness. Minors just want to be loved and cared for. They don't want to be controlled, or at least overbeared by parents who could be strict. Curfews go against the will of young minors who don't have a say about it... My opponent brought something up about the voting age. Which is okay because we do limit on how old someone has to be to vote. But we do instill voting principels at a young age.

I'm drawing closer to the end now. I'm still glad my opponent has gotten this far in the debate. His forfeit is okay. Because debates can go on forever. I still have over a thousand or so characters left so I'll post more sources now after this. Thanks for reading and leave comments and vote :-) please note I used an iPod Touch for this argument. So if grammar and stuff is off forgive me haha. I don't care if you notch off points for that. I'm about to sign off, so here's my sources used in the past.

There's more I'm just tired. I once agai. Thank everyone who've read this. I can't wait for my opponents final response.


liubeeli forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by tmacster1 6 years ago
It's alright haha. It was suppose to be but its alright. Most debates always start with Pro haha. Sometimes that's not the case though ;-). So, no worries; good luck. It's my turn to post my argument.
Posted by liubeeli 6 years ago
Am I not suppose to start debating in round 1, because I didn't know. It seems like round 1 is introductory.
Posted by tmacster1 6 years ago
I would like to thank James1 for participating in this debate. I'm sure you'll do great ;-) good luck and take your time. Use all of it if you need to.
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