Missouri legislators have sent Gov. Matt Blunt a bill that puts children less than 18 years old under the jurisdiction of juvenile courts. Missouri is currently one of only a few states that treat 17 year olds as adults. The bill on the Governor’s desk makes 17 year olds subject to the offenses of defying parents’ orders and refusing curfews, and allows a court to make a 17 year old remain enrolled in school. Under the bill, a judge would still be able to certify 17 year olds as adults when accused of crimes.
It is important that we use every tool we can to keep kids in school and out of the world of adult crime. I hope the governor signs the bill.