Reynoldsburg City Councilman Chris Long has proposed two new ordinances that would, if approved, establish a daytime curfew for minors.

Reynoldsburg City Councilman Chris Long has proposed two new ordinances that would, if approved, establish a daytime curfew for minors.

All members have been given copies of the latest proposals to study while council takes a month-long break in August. The safety committee will discuss the issue again at its next scheduled meeting on Sept. 7, Long said.

The original legislation, which was shelved a few weeks ago, aimed to establish a daytime curfew for children between the ages of 6 and 17 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The idea was to make sure they stay in class during school hours or have legitimate reasons to be elsewhere.

Long said Monday that after two months of discussions and public meetings, he has prepared two new ordinances to place before council.

The first would establish a daytime curfew for any child on suspension or who has been expelled; it would apply during school days between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The second ordinance, if approved, would hold parents responsible if the curfew rules are violated. Under the terms of the new legislation, Long said parents could be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor and fined $200.

Long said he believes these latest ordinances will answer general safety concerns expressed during discussions about a curfew.

"The issues that we're dealing with are going to have to be dealt with individually, and these were the main things people were talking about over the last eight weeks," Long said. "It was suspended and/or expelled kids being out on the streets and almost everyone was saying, 'where are the parents?, where are the parents?' So we threw an element of parental responsibility in there."

Long said he thinks these ordinances will work if they become law.

"If a police officer rolls up and says, 'Hi, how are you doing and where are you going?' he has the ability to call into the school administration office and find out if Johnny Smith is on suspension or expulsion," Long said.

"If a child is found to be out and about when they shouldn't be and violating that curfew, the child is ruled an unruly child and the steps are taken for that."

If police verify that they have stopped a student who has been suspended or expelled, the parents will be notified.

"Your primary responsibility is your kids," Long said. "The last thing I wanted as a kid was the police to call my dad at work and have him to have to come and pick me up at the police station.

"This gives us something to start to work with," he said. "We're looking at trying to develop a loitering law that will meet constitutional muster. There is almost no teeth behind the truancy laws we have established."

In addition to the two ordinances, Long said Reynoldsburg may look at establishing a juvenile diversion program but doing so would require funding.

"So we're looking into different grant funding sources since this is a safety issue with the city but we still have some work to do on it," Long said.

He said the next step is to see if school officials would be willing to sign a memorandum of understanding to show they support both proposed ordinances.

"If they pass a law, then we're more than happy to communicate that law to the persons who need it," Superintendent Steve Dackin said.

Mayor Brad McCloud said he thinks the latest legislation, if approved, is a good move.

"If you ask me if this is moving in the right direction, I would say yes," he said. "I think to narrow the scope is a positive thing. Any town who can attempt to make the parents and the guardians responsible, I think that's a good thing, too."