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1/13/2009 12:34:09 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Ohio--Action Needed to Oppose Lakewood Ohio Daytime Curfew

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 13, 2009

Ohio--Action Needed to Oppose Lakewood Ohio Daytime Curfew

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

We need you to act to oppose a daytime curfew in Lakewood Ohio. This
legislation undermines the freedom and liberty we enjoy in the United
States. Furthermore an extensive study by the National Center for
School Engagement has found that daytime curfews are ineffective and
may be counter-productive in dealing with truancy in public schools.
To see the 300-page study click http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=5973
.

For more information and to see the text of the proposed curfew, see:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=5974

With this curfew in place, your children could potentially 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 person who violates the
ordinance could 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.

We need as many people as possible to attend TODAY's committee meeting
to express opposition to the curfew.

ACTION REQUESTED

Attend the Lakewood Public Safety Committee Meeting TODAY, Tuesday,
January 13, at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at City Hall at
12650 Detroit Avenue. The curfew is on the Committee's agenda.
Please attend to express your opposition to this unnecessary
ordinance. If you wish to speak you should sign up when you arrive at
the committee meeting. Depending on the number of speakers, your time
may be limited.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please contact the members of
the safety committee to share your concerns about the proposed
ordinance. Even if you aren't from Lakewood, you can contact these
councilmen about your concern since neighboring communities may get
the same idea if the proposal passes in Lakewood. The two members of
the Public Safety Committee are Thomas Bullock, Chair and Brian
Powers:

Thomas Bullock, Chair Public Safety Committee
(216) 337-1318
tom.bullock@lakewoodoh.net

Brian E. Powers
(216) 496-3238
bpowers@lazorpoint.com

Give them this message in your own words:

"This curfew is unnecessary, as there are already strict laws in place
in the Ohio Administrative Code to deal with truancy. Police already
have the authority they need. Their resources should not be wasted in
dealing with this issue, which is a matter for school officials and
parents, not the police. Furthermore, a curfew would unreasonably
restrain my family's freedom and subject my children to unreasonable
and unconstitutional restraint."

There is no need for you to disclose that you are a homeschooler as
this issue affects all parents.

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

If you would like to be more involved, please contact Glen Sacha, a
resident of Lakewood and an HSLDA member who will be attending the
meeting. He can be reached at at glnjs17@yahoo.com or at (216)
577-8698. Mr. Sacha has agreed to assist in coordinating the effort
to oppose this legislation.

For more resources about why curfews are not legitimate, view this
memo: http://www.hslda.org/Legislation/State/oh/2008/Lakewood98-08/

BACKGROUND

This problem is more than hypothetical. Even when exceptions for
homeschoolers are written into the curfew law, police officers
frequently presume that any school-age child is truant, regardless of
whether they are homeschooled.

> Earlier this year, Tasha* and Brian*, 14- and 16-year-old sister and
brother, were stopped by Cleveland, Ohio, police. The siblings, with
schoolbooks in tow, were on their way to the library. The officer who
stopped them was skeptical when they told him they are homeschooled,
but he let them go with a warning that next time, they would have to
prove their story in court.

> Kyle* and Amy* are California homeschooled students who were out
during public school hours. Both were accosted by the police. Kyle
was transported to the local truancy center; Amy was ticketed.

> Jacob,* another 12-year-old California homeschooler, went to the
store one block from his home on February 2, 2006, to buy paper for
his homeschool program. A police officer picked him up, brought him
home, and cited him for violation of the daytime curfew.

*Not their real names.


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 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. These 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 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 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 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 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
identities, 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.

Daytime curfews will likely result in registration of privately
educated students with police departments with the attendant issuance
of ID cards and badges.

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.

For more information on daytime curfews, please see our analysis of
this issue at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2102

A strategy packet for defeating daytime curfews can be found at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=5975

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> How many news articles did you read this morning over your
oatmeal?

We live in a world where concise information presented at the
right time can make a big difference in the outcome of important
legislative efforts. Yet it's tough to keep up with all the
issues that affect you. HSLDA does this for you in the areas that
affect your homeschool. Our emails and website enable you to
take quick, decisive action. Please consider becoming a part of
this team.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1923

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