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2/5/2007 1:50:18 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Ohio--Action Needed to Stop Daytime Curfew Ordinance

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 5, 2007

Ohio--Action Needed to Stop Daytime Curfew Ordinance

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

The City of Mansfield in Ohio is considering an ordinance that would
enact a daytime curfew. Though the proposed ordinance has not yet
appeared on the City Council's agenda this year, Council members are
discussing a draft of it. The proposed language prohibits any child
between ages 6 and 17 from being in public between the hours of 8 a.m.
and 2:30 p.m. on a school day, unless the child is accompanied by a
parent, legal guardian, or responsible adult, or unless the child has
written proof from school authorities excusing him or her from
attending school at that particular time.

This legislation undermines the freedom and liberty we enjoy in the
United States. Several versions of this ordinance have been
considered in other Ohio towns with varying results--last year, it was
introduced in Mansfield, but defeated in committee.

With this 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. Any parent or legal guardian who
violates the ordinance would be found guilty of a misdemeanor. 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.


ACTION REQUESTED

1) Contact the Mansfield City Council by phone at (419) 755 9680, by
fax at (419) 755 9490, or by email at citycouncil@ci.mansfield.oh.us .


You may also contact Council members individually (see below).

In your own words, give them the following message: "A daytime curfew
is un-American. Enforcing existing truancy laws can solve the problem
without creating new regulations."

2) Please call homeschoolers and other freedom-loving citizens to
alert them to this need for action 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.

2007 Mansfield City Council

Virginia Imhoff (President)
(419) 522-1959

Mike Hill (1st Ward)
(419) 756-4998

Dave Robinson (2nd Ward)
(419) 522-9056

Scott Hazen (3rd Ward)
(419) 755-2558

Butch Jefferson (4th Ward)
(419) 525-0086

Pat Hightower (5th Ward)
(419) 522-9600

Sandra Carmichael (6th Ward)
(419) 524-7452

Doug Versaw (At Large)
(419) 756-3162

Don Culliver (At Large)
(419) 524-0834


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 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
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 . We have a
19-page strategy packet for fighting daytime curfews at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=3698 .


Sincerely,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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