Kids under 18 years old cannot hang out together whenever they want on the Plaza or in the Village. They have to leave by a certain time of night; a curfew. Evening curfews in the East area including the Prairie Village city curfew which is 11:00 p.m. The Plaza curfew, during the summer, and the restricted driving license curfew is 9:00 p.m.
Currently the 9:00 p.m. curfew on the Plaza is only in effect during the summer. Kansas City Missouri police chief Darryl Forte said in a statement, the Plaza security a less lenient approach with the curfews.
Breaking curfew on the Plaza could result in being taken to a police station. Over the summer, sophomore Ali Hickey and her friend were on the Plaza 20 minutes past curfew when they were both caught.
According to Hickey, she was at the Plaza Cinemark theater with her friend seeing the movie, “Monsters University”. As they were walking out of the theater around 9:20 p.m., police officers surrounded the theater. The officers asked them if they were 18. Because they were not, the two were taken back to the police station.
When Hickey called her father, he just laughed. According to Hickey, the police took 32 minors into the police station that night. They also wrote citations which could have resulted in family counseling and up to a $500 fine. When Hickey went to court, none of the police written citations applied to them, because Hickey’s mother was waiting for them on the Plaza.
Prairie Village has a different consequence for breaking curfew. If a minor is out past the 11:00 p.m. curfew, one of three things could happen.
If minors are out past curfew the police will either escort you home, give you a ticket, or give out personal records that say you have passed curfew before.
The police are not the only people who enforce curfews relating to teenagers — many East parents enforce them too. Parental curfews are a way to keep teens safe. According to Karen Jaggers, a mother of two East students, parents need to insure their children are not in harms way.
“Curfews implemented by parents should be respected because it’s always good to have a level of agreement between you and your parents on issues that concern your safety,” junior Noah Marsh said.
According to sophomore Matt Ho, breaking a parental implemented curfew lowers the trust between the teen and parents, and this eventually leads to less freedom for the teen in the future.
There is only one driving curfew that affects East students; the 16 lesser restricted license, which mainly affects sophomores. With the lesser restricted license, there is a morning curfew of 5:00 a.m. and a night curfew of 9:00 p.m.
“There is no reason to be out before 5:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.,” School Resource Officer (SRO) Joel Porter said.
According to Porter, breaking the 9 p.m. curfew could possibly lead to a suspension of the restricted license.
If someone driving with their lesser restricted license had a traffic violation than their license would could be restricted. The decision on the suspension would come at the court level.
Although curfews make teens delay plans to hang out together, some teenagers see why they exist.
“One point of view [is that] it could keep the kids safe,” Hickey said . “I know a lot of adults don’t like it when kids are out and about causing havoc. Maybe they [have curfews] to restrain the children.”