Home School Court Report
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No. 3

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Across the States
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The Power of Activism

On March 1, 2011, nearly 100 homeschoolers in Provo demonstrated for freedom against a proposed citywide daytime curfew ordinance. The curfew was supported by the mayor and would have prohibited school-age children from being in a public place during school hours without a legal excuse. Shopkeepers would have been obligated to call the police if anyone appearing to be a minor came into their place of business during school hours.

The day before the Provo City Council vote was to occur, a local member family informed Home School Legal Defense Association about the threat. HSLDA sent out an e-lert urging homeschoolers to contact members of the council and express their opposition. In response to the overwhelming calls (primarily from homeschooling families) and the rally, the mayor changed his views and asked the council to withdraw the proposal.

While it is understandable that local school districts want to make sure that “their” children are in school, daytime curfews are an unreasonable way to accomplish this objective. Existing truancy laws, if adequately enforced, are sufficient to deal with the problem of children skipping school. Research has shown that daytime curfews are simply not effective in accomplishing their goal and often violate citizens’ right to free movement.

HSLDA battles daytime curfews because homeschoolers get caught in curfew crossfire. In areas where such ordinances have been passed, homeschooled students are sometimes questioned, harassed, and even taken into custody by police for alleged violations. HSLDA is pleased to stand with homeschoolers all over the country to fight against this kind of overreaching by local authorities.

— by Michael P. Donnelly