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6/1/2011 4:38:54 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Illinois: Revised Boone County Ordinance Deserves Swift Defeat

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Illinois: Revised Boone County Ordinance Deserves Swift Defeat

Dear Illinois Members and Friends in Boone County:

At my request, the Assistant County Administrator has given me a copy
of the revised ordinance that will go before Boone County's
Administrative and Legislative Committee on June 6. It presents a
significant threat to homeschool families.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=11419

A student (or parent) could be ordered to pay a fine without a shred
of evidence other than a public school's attendance record showing an
unexcused absence. And if the family refuses to pay the fine, the
ordinance provides no way to resolve the disagreement. The family's
first opportunity to set the record straight may be after they are
summoned into court and are in front of a judge.

What might then be at stake is not just a $50 fine, but their very
right to continue homeschooling their children. This unseemly rush to
the courthouse is particularly unjust since public schools sometimes
make inappropriate demands and keep homeschooled children on their
rolls--and count them as absent without excuse--even after their
parents have withdrawn them.

The revised ordinance also creates a daytime curfew. While it only
applies to truants, law enforcement will obviously not know whether a
minor is truant until they question him. Every young person will
therefore become a suspect.

This gives law enforcement the green light to stop and interrogate any
young man or woman moving about during public school hours. Who knows
what evidence the uniformed, armed police officer might demand in
order to prove innocence? And after being grilled, it's easy to
imagine that a shy homeschool child may never want to go outside again
during the daytime.

And since homeschooled children often have free time while others are
still in school, it is upon our kids that this unjust burden will fall
most heavily.

The revised ordinance has virtually the same impact as a daytime
curfew for all young people. It will accomplish its apparent goal of
intimidating non-truant young people into staying out of sight. This
is out of step with our best traditions of liberty.

ACTION REQUESTED

HSLDA has urged Boone County families to oppose these efforts since we
became aware of them. We are asking for your help again!

1. Call the four county board members for your district in Boone
County (use link below) and ask them to oppose ordinance 11-29,
(chapter 47 of the Boone County Code). Your courteous message can be
as simple as, "Please vote NO on ordinance 11-29. Existing law is
adequate to handle truancy. The daytime curfew attacks the natural
human right to move about freely during the daytime."

2. Attend the committee meeting scheduled for June 6 at 6:00 p.m. and
express your opposition in a firm, appropriate, and courteous manner.

3. Be involved in local discussions. Some inaccurate information has
circulated, so be a well-informed and principled voice.

4. Thank County Board members who stand up and say "no" to this
attempt to increase government control over individuals.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Use this link to see what district you live in:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=11420

District 1:

Tricia Smith
(815) 540-6818

Bob Walberg, Chairman
(815) 544-2100

Marshall Newhouse, Vice Chairman
(815) 569-2248

Brad Fidder
(815) 569-2415

District 2:

Laura Guerin-Hunt
(815) 544-6193

Anthony Dini
(815) 520-1251

Catherine Ward
(815) 978-8029

Paul A. Larson
(815) 547-4530

District 3:

Theresa "Terri" Glass,
(815) 544-3896

Patrick B. Mattison
(815) 547-7506

Kenneth E. Freeman
(815) 547-9132

Mike Schultz
(779) 552-8809

BACKGROUND

A number of published articles about this situation contain incorrect
information. HSLDA is in a unique position to provide accurate
information on possible law changes because our staff includes eight
attorneys who work exclusively on homeschool-related issues full
time--not part time or occasionally--and can look at issues with the
benefit of a national perspective.

You may be told Canton has a policy like this. This is incorrect.
When Canton recently revised its long-standing truancy ordinance, it
wisely did not include a daytime curfew feature. Furthermore, at my
request language was inserted that protects families from having their
children treated as absent without excuse after they withdraw to
homeschool.

You may be told that this is like Belvidere's truancy ordinance. But
Belvidere has no truancy ordinance! Belvidere simply applies the
state truancy law, despite media reports to the contrary.

On the other hand, Belvidere does have a daytime curfew (Municipal
Code Sec. 74-256(b)). But the fact that Belvidere has an ordinance
that is hostile to freedom is certainly not a good reason to make the
entire county suffer.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!"

Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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