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A Parent's Curfew Encounter

ONE of the first parents hauled into court here over a child's curfew violation is an affluent real-estate professional who refused to take his 16-year-old son back when police brought him home one Tuesday in January at 2 in the morning. The father, who supports the new curfew law, agreed to offer his opinions about it if his name was not used.

He says he doesn't see his as the typical curfew case - that of unsupervised teens, involved in crimes and from broken homes. His son has not been involved in drugs or crime, but simply rebels against family rules and has left home several times to stay with a friend.

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``The focus on preventing or protecting children from abuse'' can skew the parent-child equation, says the father. ``Yes, we as parents do and rightfully should have primary responsibility for our children. But children do have a responsibility to obey and be responsive to parents.''

He says he was pleased with the outcome of the curfew citation, which was dismissed in court but led him to legal remedies to control his son.

Asked if it is a government responsibility to enforce parental responsibility, he says ``I could argue both sides.'' But, he adds, ``the bottom line is the breakdown of the family.''

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