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7/1/2010 10:34:29 AM
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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Ohio--Action Needed to Oppose Reynoldsburg Daytime Curfew

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The Reynoldsburg Safety Committee will continue discussion on a
daytime curfew for children ages 6-18 at their meeting on Tuesday,
July 6, at 7:30 p.m. We need you to act to oppose this legislation
that undermines the freedom and liberty we enjoy in the United States.

If passed, this curfew will affect the flexibility and freedom of
homeschool students to be in public places during school hours.
Homeschool children could potentially 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.

Please take action, as requested below, to defend your freedom.

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Attend the Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 6, at 7:30
p.m. (arrive before 7:15 if you wish to speak) The meeting will be
held at the City Hall on Main Street.

2. If you can't attend the meeting, please contact the members of the
Safety Committee and 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. 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 to deal with crime when and where it 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.

Contact information for members of the Safety Committee is as follows:

Mel Clemens - Ward 4
614-866-5415 (home)

Nathan Burd - At Large
nathanburd1@yahoo.com
614-322-0061 (home)

Chris Long - At Large
chrislong@insight.rr.com
614-863-1886 (home)

Contact information for other City Council Members:

Fred Deskins - Ward 1
fdeskins@insight.rr.com
614-861-6764 (home)

Leslie Kelly - Ward 2
lkellywd2@yahoo.com
614-402-3303 (cell)

Doug Joseph - Ward 3
DougJoseph@juno.com

Barth Cotner - At Large
cotner57@aol.com
614-861-2775 (home)

Bill Hills - Council President
whills@insight.rr.com
614-868-5930 (home)

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.

For more information and to see the text of the proposed curfew,
visit: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=8604

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 and 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=8605

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Standing with you,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> How many news articles did you read this morning over your
oatmeal?

We live in a world where concise information presented at the
right time can make a big difference in the outcome of important
legislative efforts. Yet it's tough to keep up with all the
issues that affect you. HSLDA does this for you in the areas that
affect your homeschool. Our emails and website enable you to
take quick, decisive action. Please consider becoming a part of
this team.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1923

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