The Curfew In Place For Minors In Toms River, NJ Is A Huge Mistake. Here’s Why:
Do you remember when Toms River put a curfew into place for minors during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020??
Officials have just come forward saying that this rule will remain in place this Summer...and I am confused.
So first, the facts....
As it stand now, the rule states that, "anyone 17 and under is prohibited to be on a public street, walkway, alley, park, any public area or 'unimproved private property' in the North Beach area between 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM unless accompanies by a parent or legal guardian," according to NJ.com.
North Beach includes, "the barrier island area of town north of the border of Lavallette and south of the border of Brick starting at 5th avenue." This comes directly from the Toms River Police.
The reason this rule was originally put into place in 2020 is because there were continuous reports of "unruly minors" congregating, not social distancing and "committing acts of vandalism and criminal mischief."
Apparently, these issues have continued in 2021 which I'm surprised to hear because I thought that these issues were a side effect of the pandemic.
I am an "adult" and I found myself going CRAZY being locked up in quarantine for as long as we were. Imagine being a teenager in quarantine, being with your parents 24/7 and your hormones going wild.
I am not defending their actions...but I am saying that I do understand some of the boisterous noise. Anyone would go a little kooky when they are finally let out of the cage.
But now that the lockdown has been lifted, I am wondering if keeping this curfew in place is a mistake.
I was totally that teenager: sassy, argued back, rebellious etc.
One of the biggest lessons a teenager like me can teach parents is that the more forbidden you make the fruit, the more teenagers will want it.
One of my favorite things to do when I was younger was hit the boardwalk with friends. It was an extremely social scene, there isn't an age minimum and you could walk around, eat and play games as you pleased with your friends.
It gave me a taste of freedom and if I had that taken away from me because of the actions of others, I think I would have rebelled that much harder.
I am not disregarding that there are always a few bad apples. But punishing all minors at the shore because of the few may not be the move here.
But for the kids who are the problem....
I know the old saying "kids will be kids" gets old, but it is true.
Maybe Jersey Shore minors need to go out and make these mistakes to learn what is and isn't acceptable.
Sometimes the only way for teenagers -- who think they know everything, by the way -- to really learn is to receive real consequences.
I'm not saying lock them up but if they are escorted home by the police or are given a $150 ticket, I think that would jolt almost any teenager.
After a few are punished, word will get out and I would bet a majority of the issues will disappear.
In a way...I see both sides. But making it so teenagers can't be teenagers might seriously backfire.
So to my parents out there, do you agree? Or should this curfew remain in place?
I would LOVE to hear you thoughts at Nicole.Murray@townsquaremedia.com.
You can also call in to 94.3 The Point's hotline at (732) 643-0943.