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7/20/2009 2:02:46 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
South Carolina: Calls Needed to Stop Daytime Curfew Ordinance

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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July 20, 2009

South Carolina: Calls Needed to Stop Daytime Curfew Ordinance

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

HSLDA has been informed that the Florence City Council is considering
enacting a daytime curfew ordinance. The next City Council meeting
will be held on August 10 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 604 of the City-County
Complex, 180 North Irby St., Florence.

The text of the ordinance can be found at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=6774 . Although there is an
exception for homeschooled students, HSLDA opposes daytime curfews for
the reasons stated below in "Background."

ACTION REQUESTED:

1. Please call your city council member and give 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 Monday, August 10, and speak out
against the curfew.
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 as a homeschooler.

Mayor Stephen J. Wukela
843-669-5634

City Council Members
District 1
Billy D. Williams
(Mayor Pro Tem)
843-665-1977

District 2
Edward Robinson
843-229-9571

District 3
Buddy Brand
843-665-7599

At-Large
Bill Bradham
843-662-0815

At-Large
Octavia Williams-Blake
843-777-5172

At-Large
Steve Powers
843-662-5207

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 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.

For a legal memorandum on the unconstitutionality of daytime curfews,
please see our analysis of this issue at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2102 .

Sincerely,

Darren A. Jones
Staff Attorney

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-> How many acorns can a chipmunk hold in its cheeks?

We don't know! But we do know that gathering little by little
enables ordinary folks to prepare for hard times. That principle
is behind HSLDA's payment plan: by paying a month at a time,
families can receive an annual HSLDA membership. Meanwhile, they
can feel secure as they homeschool and focus on other priorities
-- their children. Don't go nuts trying to pay for membership all
at
once. Choose one of our convenient payment plans.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1937

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Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
Phone: (540) 338-5600
Fax: (540) 338-2733
Email: info@hslda.org
Web: http://www.hslda.org

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