From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


9/8/2006 12:20:27 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Ohio--Calls Needed to Stop Daytime Curfew Ordinance

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

September 7, 2006

Ohio--Calls Needed to Stop Daytime Curfew Ordinance

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Amherst, Ohio is considering an ordinance which would enact a daytime
curfew. The Amherst City Council will vote on this ordinance on
Monday, September 11, 2006. If enacted it would prohibit any child
between ages 6 and 18 from being in public between the hours of 8:30
a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on days when the Amherst Public Schools are in
session, unless the child is accompanied by an adult, on an emergency
errand, en route to his or her place of employment or is carrying
written proof that he or she may be in public. This legislation
undermines the freedom and liberty we enjoy in the United States.

This same ordinance has been discussed by Amherst previously; this
meeting will result in either an enactment or defeat of the ordinance.
A good showing of people in opposition to the curfew will help to
defeat this proposal.

With a curfew in place, your children could be taken to the local
police station to verify who they are and that they have a valid
excuse to be in a public place.

You would have less freedom to send your 15-year-old daughter to pick
up some groceries or let your 16-year-old son go to music lessons
across town.

The Amherst City Council will vote on this ordinance on Monday,
September 11, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. We need as many people as possible to
attend the council meeting to express opposition to the curfew.


1) Attend the Amherst City Council meeting on Monday, September 11,
2006, at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be at the Amherst City Hall, 206
Main Street, Amherst, Ohio 44001.

Your message is simple; by being there you are showing your opposition
to the un-American daytime curfews.

2) Please call homeschoolers and other freedom-loving citizens to
alert them to this need as quickly as possible. Every person you can
reach by telephone in the next few days is one person more likely to
stop this un-American curfew.


> 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

> 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 lawbreaker 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 dangerously 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

> 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 . We have a
19-page strategy packet for fighting daytime curfews at .


Scott W. Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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