BOSTON--Three of the four Democratic candidates for governor yesterday answered students' concerns about violence, civil rights and health care at a forum in the State House.
For more than an hour, former state Sen. George Bachrach (D-Watertown) Richard E. Fenton and state Rep. Mark Roosevelt '78 (D-Beacon Hill) addressed approximately 100 Boston-area high school students at an event to celebrate Teen and Children's Advocacy Day.
In discussing possible solutions to violence involving minors, both Bachrach and Roosevelt said they oppose placing a statewide curfew on all individuals under 18.
"I do not support an overall curfew," Roosevelt said. "I would support a curfew if someone has committed a crime."
Fenton said he supports a mandatory curfew, but only if such a law is passed separately in each city and town. "A law cold be set up by the state that could be accepted by each individual community," Fenton said.
Instead of a curfew, Bachrach proposed increasing funding for creative arts in public schools.
"We need art, and we need music, and we need theater," he said. "Not everybody goes to school for math and English--some come to expand their world."
While both Bachrach and Roosevelt said their primary concern about limiting crime in Massachusetts was weapons' control, Fenton said citizens must worry about "white collar crime."
Although the candidates focused their discussions on crime issues, they also expressed their support for universal health care, protection of teenagers' choice of sexual orientation and a ban on tobacco advertising.
At one point in the debate, the young audience laughed at Fenton after he misquoted the national anthem. "Is this the land of the home and the free and the brave?" he asked.
Gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Michael J. Barrett '70 (D-Cambridge) could not attend the forum due to family illness, and Gov. William F. Weld '66, a Republican who is running for re-election, chose not to participate in the debate.