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Making a Strong Case
volume 107, Program 12
9/20/2011
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Could your high schooler be arrested—just for going across town? Homeschooled siblings Kiethan and Miranda Smith were. Today on Home School Heartbeat, HSLDA Director of Litigation Jim Mason picks up the story as HSLDA jumped in to deal with their wrongful charge of violating LA’s daytime curfew.

Jim Mason:
When Kiethan and Miranda Smith were arrested and charged with violating the Los Angeles daytime curfew, HSLDA got right to work. We’re used to dealing with wrongful curfew charges, and, working with our local counsel Rex Lowe, we were able to get the citation dismissed in short order. But there was still the fact that these two homeschoolers should never have been arrested in the first place! We saw an opportunity here to strengthen freedom for all homeschoolers. So we asked the Smiths to consider filing a civil suit against the city of Los Angeles.

The Smiths had a strong case. Kiethan and Miranda were arrested on a Friday at the very end of the public school semester, when many private schools had already let out. They had the day off and parental permission to leave home. And they were detained by the police only a short distance away from the private property of the college campus. To top it off, the officers had refused to listen to the teens’ or Mrs. Smith’s explanation of why they were not in school.

Although the ordeal had been stressful for the Smiths, they didn’t want other homeschoolers to go through what they did—so the stage was set. HSLDA filed suit.

Next time, we’ll consider why this daytime curfew—and others like it—was such a big deal to HSLDA that we pressed a civil suit against the city of Los Angeles. For Home School Heartbeat, I’m Jim Mason.


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