Franklin City Council Reinstates Curfew for Children

Sep 9, 2015

Officials in Franklin have voted to reinstate the city's curfew for children under the age of 16.

The curfew had been in effect for two decades but was recently suspended. Under the curfew, reinstated by vote of the city council, children would need to be out of public areas after 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and after 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. Parents of children caught violating the curfew could face fines.

City Manager Elizabeth Dragon says this curfew is a tradition in Franklin and will give police a tool to keep kids off the streets.

"When they see young adults under the age of 16 out and about late hours at night and early hours in the morning, [they can] bring them back home to their parents and check in with them," she said.

But Gilles Bissonnette of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire says the curfew infringes on the rights of parents to choose how to raise their children.

"Parents and guardians are in the best position to know what rules and restrictions work best for their kids, and frankly, we don’t think Franklin should be engaging in this type of activity," says Bissonnette.

Bissonnette also says the curfew would force young people to interact with police when it isn’t necessary.

Dragon says concerns like those need to be taken to the state of New Hampshire, which allows cities and towns to create such laws.