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MoCo Council Considers Changes To Teen Curfew Plan

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Teenagers in Montgomery County came out for a county council meeting last October to voice opposition to a proposed teen curfew. The curfew would prohibit teens under 18 from being out after 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends.
Matt Bush
Teenagers in Montgomery County came out for a county council meeting last October to voice opposition to a proposed teen curfew. The curfew would prohibit teens under 18 from being out after 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends.

The Montgomery County Council is holding a hearing today to consider a series of amendments to a controversial teen curfew plan. Proponents of the measure are hoping the changes will allay some of the concerns over the measure.

The council's Public Safety Committee will debate amendments to the curfew so that teens who are working or attending church or school activities can stay out past 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends. Teens would also be left alone if they tell officers that they are exercising their constitutional rights under the First Amendment.

County Executive Ike Leggett proposed the curfew as a way to curb gang activity and violent incidents such as a recent gang fight in downtown Silver Spring.

Opponents of the measure, including some parents, teens and even council members say curfews don't work, that they unfairly target all teens and interfere with the rights of parents and children.

The council is also considering beefing up anti-loitering ordinances and increasing police presence at hotspots as alternatives to the curfew.

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