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1/13/2010 5:04:47 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Illinois--Check for Daytime Curfew Proposal in Your Town!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Illinois--Check for Daytime Curfew Proposal in Your Town!

Dear Illinois Members and Friends,

Some government officials have been pushing towns and cities to adopt
daytime curfews.

Regardless of how they may be worded, all daytime curfews must be
opposed because they limit the simple freedom of moving about. Our
young people should be able to enjoy the freedom of normal movement
without fear of being challenged by a police officer. So-called
"exceptions" for homeschoolers don't cure the problem. The result
would be the same: our kids will be stopped and questioned by police
for doing nothing wrong.

The alert citizens of Salem, Illinois, spotted a daytime curfew in the
works and jumped in to oppose it. And that battle continues. But we
suspect other towns may be in the same position as Salem.

ACTION REQUESTED

I urge you to carefully check the agenda of your town or city
government and see if a daytime curfew is under consideration. If so,
please notify us at once so a prompt and effective opposition can be
organized.

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.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Woodruff,
Senior Counsel, HSLDA

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