Children not in school during school hours have to answer to police about their activities. So do their parents.
A City of Thomasville daytime curfew applies to youngsters ages 7 to 15 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Some youngsters roam city streets during school hours, with parents not accountable and not knowing where their children are, said Thomasville police Chief Ellis Jackson.
The curfew is not in force when school is out and does not impact home-schooled children.
The chief said that during the past two years, children have committed crimes, such as burglaries, entering autos and stealing from yards. They also are fighting and loitering, all in the absence of parental supervision, the chief added.
At night, young offenders commit burglaries and felony-type assaults.
When children are located during curfew hours, police locate their parents and explain the curfew. Parents whose children continue to break the curfew ordinance are cited and must appear in court.
The curfew is not about bringing charges, but about parents knowing where their children are, the chief explained.
“These kids are out there wreaking havoc everywhere in the community,” Jackson said.
The youngsters might have been expelled from school or be skipping school. Jackson said those in in-school suspension should leave when the classes end and go home.
“It is working well. We’re seeing the difference,” Jackson said.
He said youngsters bent on committing crimes should know they will be charged.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.