Aiken curfew out for now

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News 12 First at Five; May 16, 2008

AIKEN, S.C. --- School's almost out and summer's almost here. So, Aiken is trying to make sure your children get through safe and sound.

News 12's Gene Petriello found out city leaders are putting off the Youth Protection Ordinance and curfew for now and doing something else.

Some are for the curfew, others are not. But, now it's up to you to keep your kids safe and get them involved.

It's days like Friday, with the sun out, Deborah Carlisi takes advantage of with her two young kids.

"You got to be able to stay involved in your child's life so you know who they are hanging out with and you know what their likes and dislikes are," says Deborah.

It takes a whole lot more than just a mom's bag of tricks, too.

"There's a lot of time parents just say, go on do whatever and they don't pay attention to what the kids are doing," says Deborah.

So, she's keeping a close eye on her kids, and so is the City of Aiken. The curfew is out and the programs are in, for now.

"I think the programs will get the parents more involved, which I think is a big part of the problem," says Deborah.

The city hopes the empty skate park and tennis courts on Friday become a whole lot more active this summer. It's their plan for summer programs, new and old, and see what works.

Mark Rudd is a parent of 4 and thinks this is a swing in the right direction.

"As a parent, I want to protect a 13-year-old and all the other kids out there as well," says Mark.

But, it's not an easy slide to get your kids involved.

"If you try to enroll your child in a program they don't like, they are going to rebel even harder about it," says Deborah.

Her message is clear.

"Pay attention to your kids. Know what they are doing, what they're up to and be more involved in their life," says Deborah.

Doing that could lay the groundwork for a city without a curfew in the future.

The Aiken Department of Public Safety will be out this summer watching for kids on the streets late at night. At the end of the summer, the City Council will look at the Youth Ordinance and the curfew again.

If you want to know what programs are available in Aiken, or any other place in our area, click on the Find It! button on our homepage.

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