328Kwebsite, kudos on your excellent post. To those who want to discriminate against the young citizens of our city - how does that make anyone safer? The law-abiding youth are being punished for crimes they did not commit. When the teens are banished that leaves more room for the real criminals. Most violent crimes are committed by men between the ages of 18 and 25. Curfews don't stop crime - they simply allow politicians to pretend they are doing something by targeting those not allowed to vote yet.
Why should young people who are scapegoated by the government and media feel any sense of loyalty to the city? What happens to the future of Chattanooga when these young people grow up thinking of downtown as a place to be avoided? Right now, all young adults are being treated as lesser citizens on public property.
Wouldn't it be better to encourage young people to take an active interest in their city? If families are pushed out of the parks and other downtown areas by government regulation then crime probably will go up. It's been made clear by city leaders that teens and their families are not welcome in Chattanooga.
Our family likes the downtown area and Coolidge Park. We feel safe there. Perhaps the new lights will make it better. It's certainly a better approach then broadly discriminating against segments of the population.
I would like the government to focus on stopping the actual criminals instead of looking for more ways to restrict the citizens. The "solutions" to gang activity have been centered on taking away rights from the law-abiding in the name of safety. So far, they've outlawed guns for self defense and any person too young to vote in the next election. At least putting up lights is doing something positive.
Not all parents support institutional curfews. I'm a parent and I'm outraged by this trend. Criminalizing being young in a public place is an abominable, cowardly act by our government. It's age discrimination and it is just as wrong as punishing people for their sex or race. Businesses and governments are happy to take money and taxes from young adults but treat them like second-class citizens. It's morally indefensible.
We have the enjoyed the unusual weather even when it’s caused inconvenience for our family. (Though I am sorry for those who had bigger problems caused by storms and trees falling.) Thank you for this article that details the weather patterns. Chattanooga is a beautiful place. I wonder what April will bring?
Most of the violence is being committed by adults and most of it is happening outside of Coolidge Park. However, rather than deal with that problem, the mayor and city council plan to discriminate against young citizens? This response makes no sense - it will hurt businesses, it will hurt families, it will hurt law-abiding teenagers. And it will do nothing to stop gang violence - if gangs ignore signs prohibiting guns, they are not going to be deterred by signs banning minors.
Perhaps the government wants an excuse to restrict children and teenagers? This will have a chilling effect on downtown. It sends the message that the area is not safe and that young people are not welcome. I don’t understand how this will help Chattanooga prosper. The young people of Chattanooga should be enlisted to help keep the parks (and other areas) safe and clean. Let the young people be part of the solution rather than treat all young people like criminals.
I am dismayed that the mayor and city council want to punish all the young people of Chattanooga for a crime which was committed by a person over the age of 18. Discriminating against young citizens won’t make the park safer. It makes it look like the government is doing something about the problem but really this does nothing to stop the actual criminals.
However, this new law criminalizes perfectly normal behavior. This makes me feel like my entire family is unwelcome in Coolidge Park and perhaps all of downtown. This vague new rule does not explain what supervision is required and how that’s different from current laws. Is a parent being in the park enough? Must parents always be at their child’s side, even if that child is a young adult? If I allow my teenagers to play ball in the park’s field while I take my youngest child to ride the carousel could our family be charged with breaking the law? Now my teenagers can be harassed for the simple act of existing in a public place. I find this far more disturbing than an annual “flash mob” which is hyped in the media.
I know this law isn’t aimed at families with involved parents but it isn’t aimed at the criminals either. There are already laws against violence and guns. When I’ve been in Coolidge Park, I’ve seen high school students jogging and groups of teens playing Frisbee - banning them is not going to stop gang activity. It might even encourage gangs if the “good kids” are forced to clear out. If the city council really wants to make the park safer, they would ban males between the ages of 18 and 30. Imagine if the signs read, “No unsupervised men over the age of 18 will be permitted.”
I agree something needs to be done about violent gangs but discriminating against youth is not the solution. If we make it clear to our young citizens that they’re not welcome in the city, what does that mean for Chattanooga’s future? Turning teenagers into scapegoats for the violence perpetrated by legal adults does not help our city.