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2/15/2005 11:24:27 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Illinois--Calls Needed to Stop Daytime Curfew Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 15, 2005


Illinois--Calls Needed to Stop Daytime Curfew Bill


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would
open the door to daytime curfews statewide. This legislation
undermines the freedom and liberty we enjoy in Illinois.

House Bill 1130 specifically encourages municipal governments to
establish daytime curfews "to help combat truancy in the public
schools."

If passed, this bill will greatly increase the likelihood of your
children having less freedom to be outside during traditional school
hours. In order to enforce a daytime curfew police officers have to
stop and question all children in public. You would have to be careful
sending your 17 year-old daughter to pick up some groceries or letting
your 16 year-old son go to music lessons across town.

The bill is currently assigned to the House Local Government
committee. Please call to oppose House Bill 1130 to help stop this
legislation that limits your freedom in Illinois.


ACTION REQUESTED

1) Please call all the House Local Government Committee members listed
below and give them this message:

"Please oppose House Bill 1130. Enacting a daytime curfew assumes
that a child is guilty until proven innocent and those with a legal
excuse to be in public during school hours are not protected from
being questioned, detained, or held in custody until their innocence
is proven. Studies show that daytime curfews do not prevent juvenile
crime."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

House Local Government Committee :

Chairman
Rep. Harry Osterman
Phone: (217) 782-8088

Vice-Chair
Rep. Robert Flider
Phone: (217) 782-8398

Rep. Daniel Beiser
Phone: (217) 782-5996

Rep. Robin Kelly
Phone: (217) 558-1007

Rep. Sidney Mathias
Phone: (217) 782-1664

Rep. Donald Moffitt
Phone: (217) 782-8032

Rep. Kathleen Ryg
Phone: (217) 782-0499

Rep. Keith Sommer
Phone: (217) 782-0221

Rep. Michael Tryon
Phone: (217) 782-0432

Rep. Jim Watson
Phone: (217) 782-1840

Rep. Wyvetter Younge
Phone: (217) 782-5951


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 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 .

Sincerely,


Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel



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