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Date:
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12/29/2009 3:05:50 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
ILLINOIS--Urgent Action Needed to Stop Salem Daytime Curfew

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Your help is urgently needed to block an effort in the town of Salem,
Illinois, to pass an ordinance that would make it a crime for young
people to be in a public place during public school hours.

This ordinance had its first reading on December 21. When the city
council meets this coming Monday, January 4, it is possible that they
will take final action and adopt the measure.


Daytime curfews do not accomplish what the proponents claim. They
have a disproportionate impact on homeschool families because we allow
our children free time while public schools are in session.
Homeschoolers have been harassed and made fearful by policemen who
treat them like suspected criminals for doing nothing more than being
in public.

ACTION REQUESTED

If you live in or frequent Salem, please stand up for freedom by
attending the meeting on Monday and express your opposition to the
daytime curfew during the "citizen participation" section of the
meeting. The meeting will be held at Salem City Hall Council Chambers
at 101 South Broadway Salem, IL 62881 at 6:00 PM.

Please contact other families and ask them to come to the meeting, as
well!

BACKGROUND:

1. Daytime curfews do not deter juvenile crime.

A recent California study compared the juvenile crime rates of
counties that enforced curfew ordinances and counties that did not.
The crime rates were the same. The curfews had no effect on juvenile
crime.

2. Daytime curfews allow searches without probable cause.

The Fourth Amendment forbids any investigation of a citizen without a
"probable cause." The proposed ordinance allows policemen to stop and
interrogate a person merely because he looks young enough to be
violating the curfew. It is an invitation to harass homeschool
families.

3. Daytime curfews assume a person is guilty until proven innocent.

In several incidents where homeschool students were stopped by police,
they had done nothing to arouse suspicion. There was no evidence they
had committed a crime or intended to. Nonetheless, the police
interrogated them and treated them like criminals until they had
proved their innocence.

4. The ordinance allows some exceptions. Unfortunately, the only way
for a policeman to determine if an exception applies is to stop and
interrogate the frightened young person. By then the damage has
already been done. The child may be afraid to go outdoors again. The
right to homeschool includes the right to be free from
fear--especially for young people, who are most vulnerable to feelings

of fear.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom.

Sincerely,

Darren Jones
HSLDA Staff Attorney

To read the proposed ordinance go to
http://hslda.org/hs/state/IL/20091229_SalemCurfew.pdf

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