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6/16/2011 3:59:43 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Illinois: Call Now to Oppose Belleville Daytime Curfew Ordinance

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Dear Members and Friends in (and around) Belleville, Illinois:

Belleville's Board of Aldermen is scheduled to take a final vote to
enact a proposed daytime curfew ordinance at its Monday, June 20
meeting at 7:00 pm. Please take action to help protect freedom!

The proposed daytime curfew prohibits minors under age 17 from being
present in any public place during the hours of 9:00 am to 2:30 pm on
weekdays or any establishment or public place during other evening
hours except under certain specified conditions. A link to the
proposed ordinance can be found on our website here.

This ordinance creates a criminal offense for both minors and their
parents and would allow law enforcement personnel to arrest minors on
the street during school hours as a suspect.

The daytime curfew proposal is unnecessary and un-American and there
is no change that could make it acceptable. An ordinance that
criminalizes parents and their children for simply being in a public
place is simply unacceptable. Even though the bill includes a long
list of "exceptions" no one should have to defend themselves from
being in a public place simply because they "look young". City Police
already have the necessary authority to deal with crimes and the
schools have laws to address truancy. There is no need for more
regulation.

ACTION REQUESTED (Belleville residents only, please)

1. Please attend the 7:00 pm June 20 meeting of the committee, at 101
South Illinois Street Belleville, to express your opposition to the
proposed daytime curfew. You may be able to offer testimony depending
on how many homeschoolers show up; comments are limited to two
minutes.

2. Call the following members of the committee (phone numbers below).
Your message can be as simple as "Please vote NO on the proposed
daytime curfew ordinance."

3. If you are willing to help fight this in ways above and beyond the
items above, please call or email Peter LaRock by Friday evening at
(540) 338-5600 or peterl@hslda.org.

CONTACT INFORMATION--Committee Members

Michael Heisler
(618) 277-3304

Ken Kinsella
(618) 234-0825

Dorothy Meyer
(618) 277-6600 x2205
(618) 277-3855

Rob Anderson
(618) 235-2363
(618) 558-8301

A 'Gabby' Rujawitz
(618) 235-5077

Tim Carpenter
(618) 977-2143

Dean Hardt
(618) 830-1135

Phillip Silsby
(618) 257-1524

Joseph Hayden
(618) 234-8956

Paul Seibert
(618) 233-3917

Dave Martinson
(618) 277-4234

Phil Elmore
(618) 235-1987

Lillian Schneider
(618) 234-7569

James Musgrove
(618) 233-3967
(618) 407-7975

Joe Orlet
(618) 394-0661


BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Public schools take attendance in every class. They know the names and
addresses of every child who appears to be absent without excuse. An
ordinance could be drafted that would direct enforcement only against
those students, and it could be done in a way that would not make our
young people fearful of going outside during the daytime.

You may be told that other towns and counties already have identical
ordinances. That is hardly a good reason to enact the same bad law in
another town or county! If more towns or counties adopt similar
ordinances, the likelihood of homeschoolers being harassed and
intimidated rises. If we want to borrow the ordinance of another town
or county, let's borrow a good one.

Another town in Illinois, Belvidere, introduced a daytime curfew in
1996. Data from the Illinois State Board of Education show that
chronic truancy actually went up after Belvidere enacted its daytime
curfew. Before the ordinance 136 students per year were chronically
truant, on average. During the 10 years which followed, 235 students
per year were chronically truant, on average. Since Belvidere's
truancy actually went up after they enacted their daytime curfew
ordinance, it defies reason to believe that a daytime curfew ordinance
would reduce truancy.

There is no doubt that public school truancy is a significant problem;
741,000 public school students were reported as truant in 2008-2009.
That's about one-third of the entire public school enrollment. But
public schools already know the names and addresses of these truants,
and enforcement mechanisms are already in place. There is no
legitimate need to enact ordinances that create an atmosphere that
encourages every young person on the street during school hours to be
treated like a suspected criminal.

You may view a draft of the proposed ordinance here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=11551

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!


Sincerely yours,

Scott A. Woodruff

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