Daytime Curfew Ordinance in Cisco Stirring Up Controversy

When you think curfew, you probably think nighttime.

But if a proposed ordinance passes in Cisco, it would mean minors, ages six to sixteen, are also banned from being in public places, unaccompanied, between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. -- otherwise known as school hours.

"Public school kids should be in school from 9 a.m. to 2:30 pm, by state law, it's called truancy law," said Kelly West, Superintendent of Cisco ISD.

Enacting the curfew would give police the right to question children who are out and about roaming the streets during banned hours -- during the day on school days, which constitutes 180 days out of the calendar year -- and after 11 p.m. on weeknights, midnight on weekends.

"It's actually a pretty late curfew," West said.

Monday night, the city council held a special evening meeting for a second and final reading on the bill.

It was a meeting that was packed and a bill that was eventually tabled due to opposition from parents -- Specifically, those who home-school their children.

"One example given was that, 'Well, my children walk to the library for school,' and so they do have a legitimate concern," West explained.

And although the ordinance would target all kids ages six to sixteen in Cisco, officials say there are actually just a few who actually need it.

"Vandalism, theft, breaking and entering, arson, just mischief in general," West said, explaining some of the issues they have seen in town, making both the nighttime and daytime curfews a pressing matter.

"You know, when I was growing up, the 10 o'clock news used to open with, 'It's 10 p.m., do you know where your kids are?'"

And if the new curfew is put in place, city leaders and police here hope they will.

The next city council meeting will be held in May.

The curfew ordinance will be brought up then, most likely with revisions.

According to city leaders, if the ordinance passes, police would be given the authority to question underage children, as well as hand out citations.

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