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North Carolina town considering teen curfew to curb rowdy behavior

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — Major changes could be coming to Friday Night on White concerts this year in Wake Forest.

Town leaders asked parents in 2023 to help curb disruptive behavior from teenagers. But officials say they are seeing the same problems again in 2024.

At the concert on April 12, the first Friday Night on White of the year, the town said police responded to two fights and several business owners complained about “rude and obnoxious” teens.

Some business owners have taken matters into their own hands.

“Normally kids under 16, 16 and under need to be in here with a legal guardian,” said Joshua Delafuente, a sales associate at The Cotton Company.

However, he said the store has a new policy during Friday Night on White.

“Just because the teens are so rowdy, we have a rule that if you’re below the age of 18, you need to have a legal guardian to enter the store,” he said.

Delafuente said in 2023, the store saw several problems including shoplifting, teens making messes in the store and confrontations with management.

With Wake Forest seeing similar behavior in 2024, officials are asking parents for the second year in a row to supervise their children, particularly preteens and teenagers.

“That’s their job man. Parent’s job. They got to do their job,” said Michael Philbeck, who lives in Raleigh, but comes to Wake Forest often.

Philbeck’s friend Melinda Beers added, “Well, it’s disturbing because these should be family events, you know, places where you take your kids, a safe place, you know, and they’re turning it into fights and just causing trouble.”

Some people think the problem is too hard to solve.

“Kids are just going to find something else to do. And like, if they want to get in trouble, they’re going to get in trouble,” vendor Drew Bowie said.

The town is trying anyway, installing portable lighting in dark areas of White Street and bringing in police from neighboring communities.

Officials are also considering an 8 p.m. curfew on White Street for anyone under 16. If the underage people are not with an adult after that time, their parents could get in trouble.

In a message to parents, town officials said, “This requirement is intended to hold neglectful or careless parents up to a reasonable community standard of parental responsibility… without your help, a curfew may be the only way Friday Night on White continues beyond this year.”

“That is alarming for us because that’s how we make our living. I mean, it’s how we pay rent every month,” vendor Sarah Plonk said.

Delafuente said, “Losing it would be losing part of the personality of Wake Forest. I would hate to see it go.”

Friday Night on White is a popular event no one wants to see canceled. The town notes it is a small percentage of teenagers who are causing problems, but it could be enough to ruin it for everyone.

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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