COMMERCE CITY — A little more homework is needed before city council explores an idea to extend the curfew for grade-school students to weekday hours.
City spokeswoman Michelle Halstead said council still had questions going forward on the curfew idea, which was proposed by school resource officers.
“Council thanks the officers for the great idea,” Halstead said. “This isn’t something council is actively pursuing.”
Halstead said council was in support of ideas that help keep the community safe, but during a study session, council members were still left without answers about the practical implications of enforcing the proposed curfew.
“There are significant questions about the idea. A student who breaks the curfew might face a misdemeanor. It’s more of a punitive approach to encouraging behavior change,” Halstead said. “There are also questions about home-schooled students, schools with open campuses and jurisdictional issues with schools such as Prairie View High School.”
The idea hasn’t been rejected by council, Halstead said, but more feedback is sought on how the curfew would be viewed by parents, students, local governments and local school districts.
The Adams 14 School District is in favor of the curfew as a means to combat chronic truancy, said district spokeswoman Slavica Park.
“We definitely want the kids back in the school because we can’t impact them if they’re out on the streets,” Park said. “It would be great to have the city as a partner to get the kids back in the building and it’s hard to do that.”
Park said the district estimates that 11 percent of students are chronically truant at the two high schools in Adams 14.
“The truancy rates are calculated by the Colorado Department of Education each year. The total number of unexcused absences in each school is divided by the total number of student days possible in the 2011-2012 school year to determine the percentages,” Park said. “The only school from Commerce City ranked in the top 20 was Lester R. Arnold High School. With an enrollment of 251, that school had a truancy rate of 23.29 percent. The next Commerce City school on the list was Adams City High School, which had a truancy rate of 9.38 percent and ranked at 55.”
Contact Staff Writer Ben Wiebesiek at
303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email