Independence restricts freedom
The Independence City Council, apparently forgetting the meaning of their city's name, enacted an ordinance which significantly curtails the fundamental constitutional rights of parents to direct the education of their children and the right of their children to travel freely around town. (This includes even those who are 16 years of age and thus no longer subject to compulsory attendance.) Home School Legal Defense Association and Families for Home Education (FHE) worked hard to educate the members of the city council regarding the constitutional problems with daytime curfew ordinances and urged them to reject the measure. We also alerted our Missouri members of the pending ordinance and many home schoolers called and voiced opposition to it. But at the hearing on April 16, Mayor Rondell Stewart led the charge to enact the ordinance into law in spite of the eloquent testimony regarding the legal reasons to reject it and strongly voiced opposition from the community.
Thus passed, this daytime curfew ordinance criminalizes many normal childhood activities. A disturbing portion, §12.03.009.B of the ordinance attempts to reverse the well established principle of law regarding the presumption of innocence and instead creates a presumption that a minor is guilty of violating the curfew law simply by being seen in public on school days between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. §12.03.009.B also gives police the ability to stop, question, and conduct investigations of minors they observe in public during the curfew hours.
Always on the lookout to preserve our members' fundamental, constitutional freedoms, HSLDA opposes all daytime curfews, and we are looking for ways to restore the freedoms lost in Independence.
— Scott A. Woodruff