To the Editor:
The Tri-Town consists of three small towns: Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester. With a few thousand populating these towns, you can imagine how small it really is. Where everyone knows everyone, they are towns where many people don’t like to leave as they start their own lives and so generations all come together. Being small towns, we therefore have strict regulations, one being my most hated: town curfews of 10:00 pm.
As for me and every other young adult in the Tri-Town, this regulation and strictly enforced rule puts a huge damper on social hangouts. Especially in summer, which our towns are made to be enjoyed for, nothing for children or adults is allowed to be accessed after curfew. This rule couldn’t be any more of a burden, especially when we want to enjoy our friends in our lovely suburban, safe towns in the summer.
You look at the alarm clock next to your bed, as you half-dazed pick up your head, while it takes you a minute to realize what time it really is. Half of your day is gone, and it’s about 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon. It’s become a natural summer routine to waste most of your day asleep, and most of the night and the early morning awake.
No matter how long the school year was, and the alternate routines we held up to work with their schedule, it’s like it all never happened. Summer is there and so is everything that comes with it. The warm feeling you get knowing that as soon as you wake up, you slip your bathing suit on and quickly put a beach bag together to go off to the beach with your friends to the town beach.
As your day goes on, the time flies by. Throughout the day, you’re busy making plans with many friends for the night and whom you’ll see. I can’t speak for everyone, but for my friends and me, the nighttime hangouts and what we did at night was what we looked forward to. With very few places to go, just walking around town with your friends has always been a main event in the summer. You see every age group, as well as our seasonal tourists walking around. Summers are the time to enjoy and soak up as much time as you can with your friends, especially if they are seasonal visitors. With our welcoming streets, and safety knowing there’s a cop around every corner, I’ve never seen a need for a 10:00 pm curfew.
As 10:00 pm approaches, the only places to go, like the town beach, Center School, the private beach, and even just the streets, are expected to be bare. As the police officers of the town drive slowly amongst the dead streets, little did they know sometimes there were us, and many others hiding behind anything that would shield our presence.
To our defense, we are doing nothing destructive or illegal, none of us ever are. They keep this rule intact, only for no one to be able to enjoy our great scenery at the nightly hours most of us are up for. Mostly teenagers, but very much as well adults, do stay up late. When in summer, my night is my day. The weather is beautiful and warm, and our towns are such a beautiful thing to be out and see, even at nighttime. I’ve had many summers where my friends and I love to just go sit on the beach at night and talk and listen to the water, or lay and watch the stars. I’ve done this with my mother as well, and have been told to leave. I feel like this is my town as much as it is anyone else’s, I feel like I should be able to enjoy the places that my mother works so hard to keep us in. Whatever the Town Counsel may have to say, it’s just not fair.
Not being too sure, I know the towns would come up with some sort of reasons for the curfew being upheld. After reading articles of other towns having curfews like Charleston, their reasons were very understandable. They had placed a curfew for teens to place some order back into their town after violence with guns. Even other towns, not having the extremities with guns, but rather cases with spray paint and tire slashing, instituted curfews. Either way, every town had incidents to lead them to a 11:00 pm curfew. With towns and cities adopting curfews, it is safe to say that in the places where big crimes were the main focus, the curfew helped for the most part. I don’t think places that have had no issues should be able to set a law on mistakes that haven’t been made.
“The police already have the right to arrest juveniles who are committing crimes,” said Terri Baur, staff attorney with the state group. ”The curfew puts innocent juveniles essentially under house arrest for a portion of the day/night.”
Whatever Mattapoisett, Marion and Rochester’s reasons for putting this early nighttime curfew for teens, as well as older people, I would like to point out especially in our towns, there’s a large majority who are just out there to purely enjoy our town at night, and the social aspect. I, as many do, see nighttime as a time to enjoy being with friends. We don’t see it as a time of destruction. There will always be people who break the rules, but the rest shouldn’t be punished and restricted on “what could happen.” I love to enjoy my town and what it has to offer if not more at nighttime than I do in the day. I live in a beautiful area with many things to offer. This restriction, in my eyes, is a waste.