Home School Court Report
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November / December 2003

Colleges and homeschoolers

Paul Owen's story

The big picture
2003 art contest

The judges and their thoughts on the artwork

Winners of the three categories
Farris meets with President
A gift for the next generation
Homeschooling grows up

Along the way

Abounding in the work of the Lord

Resource information
From the heart
Across the states
Active cases
In the trenches
Freedom watch
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HSLDA social services contact policy/A plethora of forms

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Prayer & Praise




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District attorney supports daytime curfew

On August 12, 2003, Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons issued a press release announcing his support of local government daytime curfew ordinances on school days for children under age 18. According to Gibbons' proposal, a daytime curfew would make it unlawful for a minor who is supposed to be in school to be in any public place during school hours. Gibbons supports daytime curfew ordinances for Memphis, the various suburban municipalities, and the unincorporated areas of Shelby County. The Memphis Police Department and the Memphis City Schools reportedly support the curfew proposal.

Home School Legal Defense Association Senior Counsel Dewitt Black wrote Gibbons expressing our concern about the effects of such a curfew on homeschool children. Black pointed out that instruction in the homeschool may occur during non-traditional school hours without these children being truant. HSLDA opposes daytime curfews in general and especially those that would prohibit homeschool students from being in public places during public school hours.

Current Tennessee law contains provisions for truant students permitting their removal from public places during public school hours. The law authorizes local school districts to issue a list of truant students to local law enforcement, which then takes these students into custody. Homeschool students and non-public school students are expressly excluded from this truancy procedure under state law. Given the existence of this law, HSLDA contended in the letter to Gibbons that no daytime curfew ordinance is necessary.

In a response to HSLDA's letter, Gibbons stated that his proposal would exempt homeschool children. We do not believe that such an exemption would afford sufficient protection of the freedoms of homeschool children, so we will continue to monitor this proposal and assist home educators in Memphis and Shelby County in opposing it.

— Dewitt T. Black