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2/28/2011 2:13:34 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Utah: Action Needed to Oppose Provo Daytime Curfew

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Utah - Action Needed to Oppose Provo Daytime Curfew

Dear HSLDA Members and friends,

The Provo Municipal Council will consider implementation of a daytime
curfew for children ages 6-18 at their meeting on Tuesday, March 1, at
7:00 p.m. We need you to act to oppose this legislation that
undermines the freedom and liberty we enjoy in the United States.

While the official text of this ordinance has not yet been released,
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 criminal offense. You would have less freedom to send
your 15-year-old daughter to pick up 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 Municipal Council meeting on Tuesday, March 1, at 7:00
p.m. The meeting will be held in the council chambers at 351 West
Center Street in Provo.

2. Contact members of the Provo Municipal Council to share your
concerns about the proposed ordinance. Even if you aren't from Provo,
you can contact these council members about your concern since
neighboring communities may get the same idea if the proposal passes
in Provo. Give them this message in your own words:

"This curfew is unnecessary as there are already strict laws in place
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.

To find contact information for members of the Provo Municipal Council
or to find out who your council member is, visit:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=10447

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.

BACKGROUND

A 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.
Two teenage California homeschooled students were out during public
school hours. Both were accosted by the police. One was transported
to the local truancy center and the other was ticketed. 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.

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.

Daytime curfews interfere with parents' fundamental right to direct
the upbringing and education of their children. They also 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 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 also violate the fundamental legal principle that a
person is presumed innocent. These curfews are considered status
offenses that you can be considered guilty just because you are of a
certain age and are in a certain place. This is un-American.

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 nothing more than truancy ordinances that give
police authority to arrest children simply because they are not in
school during certain hours. Utah already has truancy laws that can
handle this problem if they were properly enforced.

Daytime curfews 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=10446

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Standing with you,

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> Can you look at the clouds and tell the direction of the wind?

An interesting phenomenon of wind is that it can blow in multiple
directions at the same time, at different heights from the ground.
But usually there is a prevailing wind. HSLDA watches the gusts
and monitors the prevailing trends of change in the legal climate
of home education. So no matter which way the wind is blowing,
we're there to protect your family.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1938

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