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6/11/2010 5:20:20 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Ohio--Action Needed to Oppose Reynoldsburg Daytime Curfew

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 11, 2010

Ohio--Action Needed to Oppose Reynoldsburg Daytime Curfew

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

ThisWeek Community Newspapers reports that the Reynoldsburg City
Council will be considering a daytime curfew for children ages 6-17
this Monday, June 14. We need you to act to oppose this legislation
that undermines the freedom and liberty we enjoy in the United States.
Read the article here: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=8490 .

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 230-page study use the following link:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=8491 .

With this curfew in place, your children could 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.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Attend the Reynoldsburg City Council meeting Monday, June 14, at
7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the City Hall on Main Street.
The curfew is on the Council's agenda. Please attend to express your
opposition to this unnecessary ordinance.

2. Please contact members of the City Council to share your concerns
about the proposed ordinance. Even if you aren't from Reynoldsburg,
you can contact these councilmen about your concern since neighboring
communities may get the same idea if the proposal passes in
Reynoldsburg. You can find your city councilman's email here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=8492 .

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 if a crime is being committed. 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 with children.

3. 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.

To view the text of the proposed curfew, visit
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=8494 .

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 were 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,* a 12-year-old California homeschooler, went to the store one
block from his home 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 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=8493 .

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Standing with you,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> You can only do so much...

No one can be everywhere at once. And you can't be at home,
teaching your children, while monitoring your state's legislature.
Through electronic legislative services, HSLDA is monitoring state
legislation for you -- watching and listening carefully for any
proposed laws that could erode your right to homeschool.
Join HSLDA today-we'll watch out for your future.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1942

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