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SAN CLEMENTE | Community News Focus

Officials Say Daytime Curfew Doesn't Make Sense for City

September 14, 1996|JULIE FATE SULLIVAN

While officials in other cities across the county are tackling the controversial issue of a daytime curfew for youth, the San Clemente City Council has decided not to deal with it.

"We already have [statewide] truancy laws in effect," Mayor Steve Apodaca said. "And we have a very low truancy rate in San Clemente. I see no reason to enact more laws trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist."

An alliance of the county's police chiefs, school administrators and district attorneys proposed the ordinance earlier this year and recommend that each of the county's 31 cities pass it.

The ordinance would require school-age children who are challenged by police between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on school days to prove that they are not playing hooky.

Citations would require a court appearance with a parent or guardian.

Seal Beach and La Habra are the only two cities to pass the law so far.

Villa Park rejected it last month, and Cypress and Fullerton tabled the issue.

Opposition to the idea has come from parents, civil libertarians and home-schooling advocates who say that a daytime curfew could turn children into second-class citizens.

San Clemente officials said this week that they do not plan to raise the issue at upcoming City Council meetings.

"That doesn't mean at sometime in the future we won't consider it if a different plan is presented," City Manager Michael W. Parness said.

"We're not saying the goal is bad; the plan just needs work. There were just too many problems with it."

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