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Hawaii

May 25, 2006

Senate Bill 1014: Daytime Curfew Bill

Authors:
Senators - Hooser, Nishihara, Hemmings, Chun Oakland, Baker, and Fukunaga

Summary:
Due to hundreds of phone calls from homeschoolers and other concerned parents this bill has been held in the committee on Senate Education and Military Affairs, and is likely dead. However, since this bill was carried over to the 2006 session HSLDA continued to closely monitor the bill.

This bill was the Senate version of a bill which would have prohibited a minor of compulsory attendance age from being in any public place from the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This legislation undermined the freedom and liberty we enjoy in the United States.

No other state in the nation has enacted a state-wide curfew! If this law had passed, Hawaii would have been the first state to enact such a draconian statute.

While this bill would have provided for certain exclusions, including homeschooling, there was no way for police or truancy officers to know who is exempt from the curfew without questioning anyone who appeared to be school age. All school age children who are out in public between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. could be stopped and questioned by the police.

If this bill had passed, your children could have been taken to the local police station to verify who they are and that they have a valid excuse to be in a public place. You would have had less freedom to send your 17 year-old daughter to pick up some groceries or let your 16 year-old son go to music lessons across town.

Status:

01/26/2005Introduced.
01/27/2005Passed First Reading.
02/01/2005Referred to the committees on Education and Military Affairs and Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs.
02/04/2005The committee on Education and Military Affairs has scheduled a public hearing on 02-09-05 at 1:15 pm in conference room 225.
02/10/2005The committee on Education and Military Affairs deferred the measure until 02-14-05 at 1:15 pm in conference room 225.
The Hawaii Legislature adjourned sine die on May 5, 2005. A special session was held on July 12, 2005, for action on vetoed legislation.

HSLDA's Position:
This bill was opposed.

Action Requested:
No action is necessary as this bill is dead.

Background:

- Daytime curfews violate a minor's fundamental constitutional right to freedom of movement as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment on the public streets, highways and areas of the city without being subjected to prior governmental restraint.

- Daytime curfews violate the fundamental legal principle of the presumption of innocence. This presumption is protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

- Daytime curfews result in violations of the minors' Fourth Amendment rights to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures. A policeman should not stop and question anyone unless there are actual facts that make it reasonable to suspect that a crime has occurred. If a policeman stops and questions a person without such facts, it is a violation of the citizen's rights under the Fourth Amendment.

- Daytime curfews interfere with the parents' fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children, especially for parents with children in small private schools who often work outside the classroom.

- Daytime curfews are, in essence, beefed-up truancy ordinances. All states have already addressed the area of truancy in a comprehensive way. There is no need for new laws addressing the issue of truancy. The present laws addressing minors simply need to be enforced.

- Daytime curfews will result in selective enforcement. Since officers will not be stopping every juvenile during school hours to check their ID, they will be selective. This opens up the extremely dangerous potential for unequal treatment of minors based upon race, appearance, dress, etc. This type of ordinance will simply divert attention from real crime prevention programs and interfere with effective police work.

- There is no evidence that daytime curfews significantly reduce juvenile crime during curfew hours. Statistics demonstrate that there is very little juvenile crime during these hours even when there is no daytime curfew. Additionally, the serious juvenile law-breaker will not be deterred by the daytime curfew. However, hundreds, if not thousands of innocent minors will suffer the inconvenience of unwarranted stops, detentions and harassment, not to mention the added cost for taxpayers for the enforcement of the curfew.

- Daytime curfews dangerously train young citizens to accept, as normal, constraints that are inconsistent with the freedom they should be educated to enjoy and use responsibly in their adult years.

- Daytime curfews send a message to self-disciplined and responsible young people that the community makes no distinction between them and irresponsible adults who abuse freedom in ways detrimental to the community.

- Daytime curfews will likely result in registration of privately educated students with police departments with the attendant issuance of ID cards and badges.

For more information on daytime curfews, please see our analysis of this issue at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2102 .

 Other Resources

Feb-18-2005 — Hawaii--Your Calls Have Defeated the Daytime Curfew Bills

Feb-11-2005 — Hawaii--Calls Needed to Stop Daytime Curfew Bill

Bill Text

Bill History