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1/11/2011 12:00:15 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
California--Action Needed to Oppose San Juan Capistrano Daytime Curfew

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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California--Action Needed to Oppose
San Juan Capistrano Daytime Curfew

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The San Juan Capistrano City Council is considering a daytime curfew
for children under 18. 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, even those from outside San Juan Capistrano who
are just visiting, 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. In fact, HSLDA is currently suing Los Angeles for
false arrest of two homeschool students last year under a similar law.

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

Our volunteer coordinator for opposing the daytime curfew ordinance is
Mrs. Virginia Thompson. She can be reached via email at
mattthompson@cox.net or by phone at (949) 496-2120.

ACTION REQUESTED

1) Please print off and sign this petition opposing the daytime curfew
available online at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=9974 . Also, we
encourage you to get as many people as you can to sign the petition.
It should be returned to:

Steve Cotugno
P.O. Box 218
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693

Petitions received by Monday, Jan. 17 may be presented to the City
Council members at the Tuesday, Jan 18 City Council meeting. Petitions
received by Friday, Jan 29 will be presented at a later city council
meeting.

2) Pray that this attack on freedom will be defeated.

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.

There is no need yet to contact the City Council members, since they
are simply studying the matter. However, if the proposed curfew is
placed on the agenda for an upcoming Council meeting, please be
prepared to attend to oppose it.

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 the child is homeschooled. HSLDA has had to defend numerous
California homeschoolers in court who have been cited for violation of
daytime curfews.

> 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.

> 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 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.
California has 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 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.

> 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.

>Daytime curfews will likely result in registration of privately
educated students with police departments with the attendant issuance
of ID cards and badges.

Curfew Anecdotes

Kyle* was a California homeschooler who was out during public school
hours. He was picked up by the police and transported to the local
truancy center. If convicted, he would have faced a fine of $195.00.

Amy,* who is homeschooled, lives just outside of the Los Angeles city
limits. One morning in 2005, before departing to attend her uncle's
funeral, she took a short walk. But as Amy was walking, she was
accosted by a police officer who ticketed her for being on the street
in violation of Los Angeles' Daytime Loitering Ordinance.

Jacob,* a 12-year-old homeschooler in California, went to the store
one block from his home on February 2, 2006, 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.

On September 9, 1999, Adam,* age 13, was stopped, detained, and issued
a citation by a Los Angeles police officer. He had been walking on the
sidewalk with no apparent unlawful purpose. On the day Adam received
the citation, his home school was not in session. Fairhaven Christian
Academy did not open for the school year until four days later.

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,

Darren A. Jones, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

* Names changed to protect privacy.

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-> How long are you in for?

Some families are facing what seems like a lifelong commitment to
homeschooling, with children at both ends of the spectrum -- some
graduating and some just reaching school age. If you're going to
be "in" for a while, consider a lifetime membership with HSLDA.
It's a good deal for families with more than 10 years of
homeschooling ahead.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1936

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