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5/4/2009 3:36:18 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas: Keep Calls Coming to Defeat Daytime Curfew Ordinance in Dallas!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 4, 2009

Texas: Keep Calls Coming to Defeat Daytime Curfew Ordinance in Dallas!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Thanks to the persistence of all of you who have called in opposition
of this ordinance, and to many Dallas homeschoolers committed to stop
this ordinance from coming to fruition, the ordinance was not voted on
in the April 22 hearing, but was tabled until May 13.

The hearing on May 13 will be the final time to vote on the ordinance.
It is imperative that calls be made up until that day to let your
council members know that you are against this ordinance!

This ordinance is very restrictive, with no exceptions for
homeschoolers. If the ordinance is enacted, your children will be
fined up to $500 if seen outside in public from 9:00 a.m. until 2:30
p.m. on any weekday.

For more information about the Dallas Daytime Curfew Ordinance, please
visit the website below created by Dallas homeschool families:
http://ditchthedaytimecurfew.com .

ACTION REQUESTED:

1. Please call your council member and give him the message below.
2. Please call as many other council members as you can, because the
decision they make will affect you.
3. Please attend the hearing on May 13, and sign up to speak out
against the curfew. The public hearings will be held in Dallas City
Hall (1500 Marilla, Dallas) between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
4. Please ask all of your friends to call as well, and pass on this
e-lert to them.

Please tell the Council members the following in your own words:

"We do not need a daytime curfew. Curfews are ineffective and harmful
to our freedom. Please vote against the proposed daytime curfew."

You do not need to identify yourself a homeschooler.

Mayor Tom Leppert:
Phone: 214-670-4054

Dr. Elba Garcia, Mayor Pro Tem, District 1:
Phone: 214-670-4052

Pauline Medrano, District 2:
Phone: 214-670-4048

David A. Neumann, District 3:
Phone: (214) 670-0776

Dwaine Caraway, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem, District 4:
Phone: (214) 670-0781

Vonciel Jones Hill, District 5:
Phone: (214) 670-0777

Steve Salazar, District 6:
Phone: (214) 670-4199

Carolyn R. Davis*, District 7:
Phone: (214) 670-4689

Tennell Atkins, District 8:
Phone: 214-670-4066

Sheffie Kadane*, District 9:
Phone: 214-670-4069

Jerry R. Allen, District 10:
Phone: 214-670-4068

Linda Koop, District 11:
Phone: 214-670-7817

Ron Natinsky*, District 12:
Phone: 214-670-4067

Mitchell Rasansky, District 13:
Phone: 214-670-3816

Angela Hunt*, District 14:
Phone: (214) 670-5415

*These council members have indicated they are against the ordinance.
If you call them, please check if they are still against the curfew,
and if so, thank them for their continued opposition.

BACKGROUND:

Daytime curfews violate a minor's fundamental constitutional right to
freedom of movement on the public streets, highways and areas of the
city without being subjected to prior governmental restraint--as
guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

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 U.S.
Constitution.

Daytime curfews result in violations of 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 a legal memorandum on the unconstitutionality of daytime curfews,
which can be given to Council members, please see our analysis of this
issue at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2102.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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