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2/10/2011 5:13:58 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
New Mexico--HB 254 Providing Authority to Enact Curfew Ordinances

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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New Mexico--HB 254 Providing Counties
and Municipalities with Authority to Enact Curfew Ordinances

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Representative Dennis Kintigh is sponsoring a bill that would allow
any county or municipality in New Mexico to adopt a curfew ordinance
to regulate the actions of children during either daytime or nighttime
hours.

If a county or municipality wanted to adopt a daytime curfew
ordinance, House Bill 254 would allow them to restrict the actions of
any children during any school day. Under this bill, any daytime
curfew ordinance could require a school-age child to be present on
school premises. Such a daytime curfew ordinance could negatively
impact the freedom of a 16- or 17-year-old homeschool student who was
going to music lessons, co-op classes or other activity with the
permission of their parent. Homeschool students could also be
restricted by these daytime curfew ordnances even though their
homeschool program had the day off.

A public hearing on the proposed bill will be held on Saturday,
February 12, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. in Room 309 at the Capitol with the
House Health and Government Affairs Committee. Representative Mimi
Stewart is the Chairman.

HSLDA opposes this bill, because it restricts homeschoolers' freedom
to allow their children to be seen in public during school hours. We
are aware that some amendments might be added to "exempt" homeschool
children from these curfews. The problem with any exemption is the
application of the exemption. Typically, exemptions for homeschool
children are not going to prevent your child from be stopped,
questioned, and possibly detained under any daytime curfew that is
eventually enacted.

We are asking that you please call and/or email the members of the
House Health and Government Affairs Committee members listed below to
voice your opposition! If you could also contact your senator and
representative as well that would be great.

REQUESTED ACTION

1) Please call and/or email the members of the House Health and
Government Affairs Committee and give them this message in your own
words:

"Please vote against House Bill 254. This bill will allow counties and
municipalities to enact restrictive curfew ordinances that would
violate the constitutional freedom of law abiding parents and
children. Daytime curfews interfere with the parents' fundamental
right to the care, custody and control of their children. There is
little evidence that daytime curfews significantly reduce juvenile
crime during curfew hours. I am opposed to House Bill 254 in spite of
any amendments that might be proposed."

You do not need to mention that you are a homeschooler.

The House Health and Government Affairs Committee members are as
follows:

Representative Mimi Stewart - 505-986-4344 - mstewart@osogrande.com
(Chairman)
Representative Nick Salazar - 505-986-4433 - (Vice Chairman)
Representative Alonzo Baldonado - 505-986-4227 - zobaldanado@gmail.com
Representative Eleanor Chavez - 505-986-4464 - eleanorchavez@gmail.com
Representative Yvette Herrell - 505-986-4214 - yherrell@yahoo.com
Representative Terry McMillan - 505-986-4220 - docmcmillan@msn.com
Representative Luciano Varela - 505-986-4320
Representative Jeannette Wallace - 505-986-4452 -
wallace@losalamos.com

2) Please contact your own state senator and representative, if they
are not on the Health and Government Affairs Committee with the
following message in your own words:

"Please vote against House Bill 254. This bill will allow counties and
municipalities to enact restrictive curfew ordinances that would
violate the constitutional freedom law-abiding parents and children.
Daytime curfews interfere with the parents' fundamental right to the
care, custody and control of their children. There is little evidence
that daytime curfews significantly reduce juvenile crime during curfew
hours."


How to find your Senator/Representative:

Go to http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=10274, and type in your ZIP
code, or call the New Mexico Legislature's main switchboard at (505)
986-4300 and ask for your senator or representative.


BACKGROUND

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. 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
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.

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 homeschool was not in session. Fairhaven Christian
Academy did not open for the school year until four days later.

* Names changed to protect privacy.

For more information on daytime curfews, please see our analysis of
this issue at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=2102 .

Thank you for your support of homeschooling freedom in New Mexico!

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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