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12/6/2011 3:48:41 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Kentucky: Urgent Action Needed Today to Stop Covington Daytime Curfew!

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Kentucky: Urgent Action Needed Today to Stop Covington Daytime Curfew!

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends in Covington:

Back in October the Covington City Commission tabled the daytime
curfew proposal they attempted to pass because of the unexpected
opposition to the ordinance, most of it from homeschool families.
However, we have learned the curfew is currently on the agenda for the
Covington City Commission meeting tonight (Dec. 6) at 5 p.m. We
believe this will be the second reading, and final reading before the
city commissioners vote on the ordinance.

We need a large showing at tonight's meeting. While there is no
expectation anyone will be allowed to speak for or against the daytime
curfew ordinance, the Covington City Commission might still be swayed
by a large turnout of parents and their families.

It is vital that as many homeschoolers who live, work, shop or
otherwise travel to Covington show up for the meeting. Bring your
older students who would be impacted by this daytime curfew. We need a
nicely dressed, respectful homeschool crowd that will demonstrate
opposition to this curfew! It is unlikely that public comment will be
needed, but dozens of families will have a strong impact on the
potential outcome of this issue. Please come and help represent
freedom!

We have been informed that the Covington City Commission might have
changed the proposed ordinance to address the concerns of
homeschoolers. We have not seen any changes and doubt any amendments
could be made that would prompt us to stop opposing the curfew. A
daytime curfew in any form means private homeschool students going
about their business in Covington during public school hours would
most certainly face the threat of being stopped by police and
possibility ticketed simply because they are (or look) under 18.

Please come tonight to help stop this daytime curfew!

Action Requested:

1. Attend the meeting of the City Commission tonight, December 6, at
5:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at 638 Madison Avenue to
demonstrate your opposition to the proposed ordinance.

2. 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

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.

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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