Heidelberg to start curfew for children
HEIDELBERG, Germany — Following the lead of the Darmstadt and Grafenwöhr military communities, Army officials in Heidelberg will impose an on-post curfew for school-age children that is intended to cut down on vandalism and late-night partying.
Heidelberg’s 411th Base Support Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Diane Vanderpot, announced the plan at a town hall meeting in Heidelberg on Wednesday.
The curfew, which is to be implemented in the coming weeks, will require all school-age kids to be home, depending on age, between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., during the weekdays and between 9 p.m. and midnight on weekends and holidays.
A list of exceptions will still allow teenagers, for example, to run errands for parents and come and go from base housing facilities as long as they’re in a vehicle.
The plans were received well by some 20 parents attending the meeting.
“Why can’t we just start this next week?” asked one mother, with most attending nodding their approval.
Officials have tentatively set Nov. 15 for implementing the curfew, but Vanderpot said that could be moved up to October if community discussions continue to go well.
One mother complained of kids regularly partying outside her housing area.
“Every Saturday, we can set our clock to when the kids show up and how long it’s going to take before they get loud,” said the mother, who asked that her name not be used. “There are eighth-graders out there drinking and throwing beer bottles and setting garbage on fire.”
Every time she calls the authorities, the kids scatter before the military police arrive, she says.
Becky Melvin, a mother of two who said she supported the plan, said the curfew would only do so much, however.
“The real problem is there’s no places for the kids to go,” said Melvin. “We need teen and youth centers.”
Maj. Tom Acklen, the 411th BSB’s provost marshal, said juvenile delinquency “is not a big problem, but this will give us an additional tool to handle things.”