Montgomery County Teens Petition To Eliminate Proposed Late-Night Curfew | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Montgomery County Teens Petition To Eliminate Proposed Late-Night Curfew

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A new website is aiming to stop the proposed teen curfew in Montgomery County through an online petition.
Armando Trull
A new website is aiming to stop the proposed teen curfew in Montgomery County through an online petition.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett’s proposed 11 p.m. curfew on weekdays and midnight on weekends for youth have drawn the ire of thousands of teens who say they are mobilizing to stop it.

Thursday's midnight premiere of Harry Potter drew several hundred teenagers to downtown Silver Spring.

But Abigail Burman wasn’t there to see the movie. The 17-year-old has started a petition to eliminate the county's curfew on minors before it goes into effect. The restricted nighttime hours aims to curtail gang violence in the area.

"You create a lot of tension between kids and the police, which is what you want to prevent when you want to stop gang violence," says Abigail.

She's getting some help from the National Youth Rights Association’s executive director, Alex Koroknay-Palicz.

"In a free country you should be able to go see Harry Potter if you choose without being arrested, charged with a felony or given a thousand dollar fine."

It's an argument that's winning over some adults and many young people like Rhiannon Smith.

"You couldn’t even go see a 9:30 movie without being arrested when you get out," she giggles.

It's not a laughing matter for county executive Ike Legget who proposed the curfew as a way to keep out troublemaking juveniles out of the streets late at night.

The county council will hold a public hearing on July 26. Abigail sent out a Facebook invitation to 14,000 teens, and so far 2,400 have said they’ll attend the hearing.

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