Letter to the Editor: Author of curfew letter in error on several counts

Stock image, St. George News

OPINION — After reading Mr. Vargas’s letter about curfews, I saw his ignorance showing through. So I need to educate him on a few things.

Read more: Letter to the Editor: Curfews limit freedom of teens

First, learn how to write because you completely misspelled their twice. It is their not “there” and theirs’ not “theres” and its person’s not person. The words their and their’s are possessive not “there. The word there is a place not possessive. And “persons” is plural person’s is possessive.

Second, teens don’t have rights or freedom per se. They do have a few rights like speech, privacy, and religion. But that is it. You can’t vote, run for office, operate heavy equipment under the age of 18 (unless you work on a family farm. You can’t buy, possess, or use tobacco under the age of 19 and alcohol under the age of 21. You cannot purchase a rifle or shotgun under the age of 18 or a handgun under the age of 21. You cannot sign contracts or work in a lot of occupations under the age of 18.

Next, until the age of 18 you are the ward of your parents or guardians and required, in every state, to attend school and be vaccinated. So I wonder, what freedoms and rights are you talking about?

Next, contrary to your belief, most teens do obey curfews because, not only do they believe in respect but they have parents who know how to raise kids. Next, it is my belief that those who are against curfews are anarchists who believe there should be no rules, ever.

And your argument that crime only happens during the day is uneducated. This is because most crime happens at night according to the FBI crime stats. According to the FBI Juvenile Crime Statistics, while on school days juveniles do commit more crime during the day after school, on no non-school days, juveniles commit more crimes between 8 and 10 at night.

Finally, if I were an English teacher and was handed your letter, I’d have failed you on the grammer.


Florence, Colorado (formerly of St. George)

Letters to the Editor are not the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only a light edit for technical style and formatting. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them.

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  • Real Life June 7, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Somebody needs a hug.

  • christoff79 June 7, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Before someone goes on a rant about a person’s usage of GRAMMAR, perhaps they should run a spell check first.

    • gandalf June 10, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      …That’s the point christoff79. It’s satirical.

  • salane June 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Mr. Williams– your letter in response to Mr. Vargas was both unkind and unnecessary. I am a high school administrator and I read Mr. Vargas’s letter when St George News posted and I was pleased to see a young man taking civic interest. There were grammatical errors, yes, but he was expressing his opinion, of which he took time to formulate arguments, write them out and then post them online. I applaud that. I am assuming that you are an adult– and I find it quite flabbergasting that you would take the time to write a letter to tear down and criticize a young man. I have never posted on SG News, but today I set up an account so that I could comment on your letter. You should spend more time around youth– they may have different opinions than you, but there is a lot of value in listening to them and being respectful.

    And Mr. Vargas– if you end up reading this man’s letter, my advice to you is disregard it. Continue to engage in your community and voice your opinions, especially in appropriate venues like newspapers and city councils. Keep it up.

    And a little bit of irony? Mr. Williams misspelled ‘grammar’. LOL.

    • Travis June 7, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      I love your response salane. A college educated very successful international businessman I worked for did not know the difference between “then” and “than” and he was not the least bit embarrassed to ask 2 of us in the office to help him understand the difference.

      I was very impressed with the young man’s letter, regardless of the few errors. I’ve seen worse in large distribution newspapers.

      And, I must be an anarchist since I also disagree with an across the board curfew based on age alone.

  • comments June 7, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I think the guy who wrote the original letter is a halfwit. It was cute that he had his girlfriend in the comment section sticking up for him though, and she seemed rather bright, in stark contrast to her boyfriend. Some high school grads will end up as doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc, but some will end up working at the corner gas station or scrubbing toilets for 8 bucks an hour. You can see where I’m going with this, and it isn’t to be mean. If all else fails, there’s always the army. When I was in we had plenty of halfwits; they’ll take nearly anyone. cheers 😉

    • comments June 7, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      And after reading this one, if it makes anyone feel better, I’m not sure TERRY WILLIAMS is the sharpest knife in the drawer either. lol 😉

      • ladybugavenger June 7, 2017 at 5:15 pm

        Whoah! I thought Terry Williams was you Bob. And the mystery continues….dun dun dunnnnnnnn

        • comments June 7, 2017 at 8:27 pm

          LOL , no such luck, if I ever write in a letter I hope it’s more a bit more eloquent than Terry’s. TBH, Terry disappoints me.


    • salane June 7, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks, but I actually am a high school admin, not a teenage girlfriend. You can look me up on http://www.mountainheightsacademy.org. I am the director of Tech and OER and have been in education since 1995. Not everyone misrepresents themselves online.

      • comments June 7, 2017 at 8:24 pm

        Whew! Well that settles that then, doesn’t it. But I’m afraid this leaves more questions than answers: Is the real teenaged girlfriend a halfwit as well? Did the original letter writer go to your school and can you verify if he’s as dumb as my impression of him from that letter?(LOL). And finally, as an educator, do you agree that some former or current students are just not college material and actually the best place for them is scrubbing toilets for 8 bucks an hr? 😉

        • comments June 7, 2017 at 8:32 pm

          Oh my word! The teenaged girlfriend was named “Cheyanne”, and here I was thinking it was “salane”. And here you were thinking you were the teenaged girlfriend! hahaha. The compliment wasn’t for you, buddy. It was for the girl commenting in the original article. Too funny

      • ladybugavenger June 8, 2017 at 4:16 am

        I’m sure Bob was talking about the original story and a commenter on there and not about you being a teenage girlfriend. Thanks for all you do for education.

        • comments June 8, 2017 at 12:29 pm

          you caught it also, LB. I got salane and cheyanne totally mixed up there for a moment. Well, we know that between the two of them one had to be the teeny girlfriend. And now we know. LOL


  • 42214 June 7, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    If you want to read stories filled with spelling and grammatical errors buy an issue of the Spectrum. That’s why I canceled my subscription.

    • Proud Rebel June 8, 2017 at 11:21 am

      I’m too lazy to formulate a response to 42214’s statement, other than to say that was one of the reasons I cancelled my subscription. That, and their high cost, and the way the want you to sign up for “automatic deduction.” Sorry Todd, but NOBODY is getting permission to get in to my checking accounts.

    • comments June 8, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Completely agree, 422. I read a bit of the spectrum now and again. There’s someone named Emily–something (forget last name) that writes a lot of their material, and her writing is absolutely atrocious. Not sure about the others right off hand, but it’s just bad.


  • comments June 8, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Didn’t even notice on the article image until today (LOL): I think we need to forgive folks for mixing up there and their. It happens when I type out stuff real fast, and don’t bother to proof it. Misusing they’re is another story. Of course in a professional setting, or writing in letters to a news outlet it really should be cleaned up, or we can just fill the whole page with “(sic)”. Too funny


  • rivicht June 8, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    I find it hypocritical that the author brings up “respect” in a letter written with so much contempt. Vargas was able to articulate his concern in a civil manner, but you responded with personal attacks and an obviously enormous ego. You say he made a terrible argument, but it was the far better one.

  • throwawayaccount June 8, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    First off, you start by dismissing his arguments not on the merits of the argument, but because of grammatical errors. You and everyone who read the article understood perfectly his intended meaning, being particular about his grammar is purely pedantic and arguably pretentious. Although, it is hypocritical of you to point out his grammatical errors when you had grammatical errors of your own.

    For your second argument, I won’t address it completely because it bring in a whole new debate about whether or not teens should have more rights with other things in general. I will say this though, most of the rights revoked from teenagers has been decided by the Supreme Court, Curfews has not. They are decided on a city to city basis and most cities do not enforce curfews among teenagers unless of times such as martial law.

    For your next argument you say that most teenagers obey the curfew of their parents because of respect. There is a huge difference between the government using coercive force to keep people on their private property vs. going to that private property out of the respect of your parents commands. I could continue arguing about both the economic liabilities and the moral arguments of having the police going around making sure everyone under the age of 18 is at home, maybe some other time. You say that everyone who is against curfews is an anarchist, I am assuming this is satire, because that is a very VERY bold and completely inaccurate statement. Not only is this a black and white logical fallacy, it also ignores the wide spectrum of political beliefs. The libertarian-authoritarian spectrum is very vast. On a side note, why are you attacking groups of people who have differing opinions than you, calling people who don’t have the same opinions as you anarchists is not only ad hominem logical fallacy, it just looks plain indecent. (Not an argument just a side thought I had).

    Now we get to the fun part. Vargas’ statement that crime only happens at night is demonstrably false and educated, but to say curfews lead to decreased crime is also false. The only evidence for decrease in teen curfews after the implementation of curfews is either anecdotal or incidental. The most accurate study on the effectiveness of youth curfews showed that it has no effect over the crime rate. I am going to quote Researchers Mike A. Males and Dan McAllister here:

    “Statistical analysis does not support the claim that curfew and other status enforcement reduces any type of juvenile crime, either on an absolute (raw) basis or relative to adult crime rates. The consistency of results of these three different kinds of analysis of curfew laws point to the ineffectiveness of these measures in reducing youth crime. The current available data provides no basis to the belief that curfew laws are an effective way for communities to prevent youth crime and keep young people safe. On virtually every measure, no discernable effect on juvenile crime was observed. In fact, in many jurisdictions serious juvenile crime increased at the very time officials were toting the crime reduction effects of strict curfew enforcement.”

    If someone went out of there home intending to commit a crime, how would creating curfew laws help if their intent was already to break the law?

    “According to the FBI Juvenile Crime Statistics, while on school days juveniles do commit more crime during the day after school, on no non-school days, juveniles commit more crimes between 8 and 10 at night.” I found it amusing how you used that statistic when most curfews are at 10 PM or after, what was the point of using that statistic. You weakened your own argument.

    Let’s look at a few historical cases in American history of curfews. One study was in Monrovia, California. In the study Researcher Michael Males found that arrests for crimes went up 53% when the towns curfew was enforced. After the curfew was removed, crime went down 12%. In Detroit when a youth curfew was put in place, crime dropped 6% during curfew hours, but crime increased 13% mid-afternoon.

    With those two cases being said, there is no solid evidence that youth curfews lower the rate of crime among juveniles.

    Maybe do some research, before spouting off your ignorant, uneducated opinion, Mr. Williams.

    On a side note this is an informal response as can be obviously noticed by the lack of structure and order, and should be treated as such.

    • comments June 9, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Ouch, either u got too much time on ur hands posting such a thing or i got too much time reading ur lil diatribe, maybe both 😉

      If I remember correctly, the argument in the original letter was something like (paraphrasing): “curfews is bad cuz teens need our freedumbs”. How can one top such a brilliant statement as that? I’m still wowed by it to this day.

      • throwawayaccount June 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm

        I see that as a valid argument. Why exactly should someone who is 17 have many of the rights as well as the responsibilities that people who are only one year older revoked from him/her when someone who is 18 is not that much more mature than someone who is 17? Teenage rights is a very VERY complicated subject. Never the less, it is my firm belief that government should not coddle teenagers, and that they need more rights as well as responsibilities to be better prepared for the real world as an adult.

        That all being said, I wrote this kind of as a joke between some of my friends and I. Trust me, there was no emotion put behind that response. ? Also that took me about ten minutes tops to write

        • comments June 9, 2017 at 2:07 pm

          Well, I’ll throw in a couple quick thoughts:

          Back in the 1800s the prophet Joseph Smith used to like … young girls. He was in his 30s and I think the youngest ones were 13-14. Back in those days that didn’t bother folks so much because teens were treated more as adults and given adult responsibilities. I think in those days it wasn’t even that unusual to marry off 13 year old girls to men a good deal older in non-mormon society. I think what set folks off about the prophet Joseph Smith was his penchant for going around and … already married women, and a lot of them, but I”m getting off track. All that said, the consensus in modern times is that teens under the age of 18 are just too dumb to know better. They are legal children under the law. The debate could rage on forever about what age children actually gain the intellect of an adult or “adult brain”, because maturity levels and intellect vary so much from person to person, and even if they have the intellect of a legal adult they still don’t have much knowledge. The whole thing is a debate I’d take no part in. Teens are generally dumb and if the curfew laws keeps idiots under 18 from being out causing chaos even just a little I say keep it on the books. The Vargas boy is an idiot poster child of why we need much more strictly enforced curfews, if you ask me. cheers 😉
          Ed. ellipses.

          • comments June 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm

            I love the editing with this one. Guess I could’ve phrased it more delicately 😉

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