FRAZIER: Juvenile curfew meant to keep our children safe

Published 4:00 am Saturday, June 25, 2022

With the increase in juvenile violence and criminal acts in Vicksburg, the Mayor has enacted a summertime curfew that shaves an hour off of what was the previous curfew for those under the age of 18.

As of Friday, instead of being midnight, the curfew states teens under the age of 18 cannot be on any public street, highway, park, vacant lot, establishment, or other public places between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

This includes a trip to the movie theater that runs past 11 p.m. and private parties that could cause a child to be out past the designated hour unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

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As a teenager, this proclamation would have definitely clipped my wings.

Most of my dates were to the movies, and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted mom or dad to be sitting there in the theater with me.

On the other hand, as I parent, I would have been jumping for joy with this rule.

With the proclamation, I wouldn’t have had to be the bad guy when my teenage children begged to stay out later than I would allow. All I would have had to do was blame it on the city.

Being a leader of a community is a big responsibility and there is not enough money in the coffers to pay me to ever consider taking on the task.

But thankfully there are some that have been called to lead — in this case, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen — and I feel like by enacting this proclamation and knowing there will be those who think boundaries may have been breached, they are looking out for Vicksburg.

Back in my day, offenses by young people usually involved rolls of toilet paper; now there are teens toting guns.

How and why this is happening is a topic for another column. The fact is, it is occurring.

I talked briefly with Mayor George Flaggs Jr. about the curfew and his number one objective is to keep teens — our young people — safe.

Unfortunately, this decision of placing an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew may seem, and rightfully so, as if it is punishing the good kids. But parents need to remember that there are times good kids can innocently be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

And I feel certain that if something unspeakable were to occur, parents would look to community leaders for answers.

There are exceptions to the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew, which include work-related requirements and, obviously, medical emergencies.

No one likes being “the heavy.” It’s not a fun place to be, but thankfully, our mayor is willing to place concern for the community over his own popularity.

This proclamation will not deter all teen crimes. But it can tamp down on the mischievousness, while also motivating parents who are not proactive in knowing their teens’ whereabouts to have some accountability.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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