Reporting by WVUA 23’s Chelsea Barton

Heads up Tuscaloosa parents and guardians: violating the city’s new curfew law could yield a hefty fine, or even jail time.

The Tuscaloosa City Council, in collaboration with the Tuscaloosa City Schools Board of Education, is moving toward strengthening the curfew laws to address students skipping school. Under the amended curfew law, it is illegal for minors to be unaccompanied in public from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. any Monday through Friday that city schools are in session. And, students won’t be the only ones facing consequences.

A parent or guardian will be cited when a minor is found in violation of the daytime curfew law. Mayor Walt Maddox said the penalties for these citations could reach up to $500 or up to six months in jail.

“Ultimately, you’ll go before the municipal court judge,” Maddox said. “Judge McKinney will make the determination. There is a difference between a child that is sneaking out of school one day and a child that is habitually absent. One of the reasons why the school board has proposed this is that they are working on a program called Parent Academy, which provides parents the tools necessary to get their children where they need to be.”

The new curfew will go into effect for all Tuscaloosa City Schools’ students as the new semester begins in January. It does not apply to homeschooled students.

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