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9/15/2011 4:39:54 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Kentucky: Action Requested--Covington Daytime Curfew Meeting

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Kentucky: Action Requested--Covington Daytime Curfew Meeting

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends in Covington:

We were informed yesterday that the Covington City Commission will be
reading and likely voting on a strict daytime curfew early next week.
If you live in or around Covington, we urge you to contact the City
Commission members and consider coming to the meeting.

The Covington City Commission will be discussing a proposed change to
the current juvenile nighttime curfew ordinance sec.132.13 to prohibit
school-age children from being out in public without their parents
during regular school hours.

As currently worded the proposed ordinance would require the police
department to prevent any citizen under the age of 18 from being in
"any public assembly, building, place, location or business open to
the public, or traveling upon a sidewalk, street, highway or other
public right-of-way within the city when the child is required to be
in attendance at either public or private school, unless the child is
accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other adult person."

In general, if the ordinance were to be passed, parents would only be
able to give permission for their children to be out in public during
school hours for limited purposes or a school-related activity. Plus,
with the ordinance in place, your child would likely be stopped any
time they were out in public during school hours.

Just one situation that HSLDA has encountered highlights the possible
problems that could occur if the daytime curfew is passed in
Covington. 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 after his mother realized they had run out.
While he was out, a police officer picked him up, brought him home,
and cited him for violation of the daytime curfew.
Under the proposed changes, police officers would have the authority
to issue citations to citizens they believe to be in violation of this
new curfew and transport minors to school, home or their parents.

HSLDA will be writing a letter in opposition to the proposed daytime
curfew. However, your calls and emails to city commission members are
needed to defeat this outrageous proposal that could threaten the
freedom of homeschooling families in Covington.

Action Requested:

1. Please contact members of the Covington City Commission by
telephone or email this week and express your opposition to the
proposed ordinance. You can find out more about the city commission
here: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=12379 . The city clerk can be
contacted by calling (859) 292-2314.

2. Attend the meeting of the city council next Tuesday, September 20,
at 6:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at 638 Madison Avenue to
demonstrate your opposition to the proposed ordinance.

3. Forward this email to other homeschooling families who are not
members of HSLDA and ask them to take the same action.

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 U.S.
Constitution.

Daytime curfews violate 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.

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

Curfew Anecdotes

Kyle*, a California homeschooler, 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. She was then accosted by a police
officer who ticketed her for being on the street in violation of Los
Angeles' Daytime Loitering Ordinance.


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 .

Please contact the city commission members now!

Very truly yours,

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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