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1/12/2012 3:22:26 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
California: Action Needed to Oppose San Luis Obispo Daytime Curfew

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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California--Action Needed to Oppose San Luis Obispo Daytime Curfew

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is considering a
daytime curfew for children under 18. We need you to act to oppose
this ordinance that undermines the freedom and liberty we enjoy in the
United States.

If passed, this curfew will affect the flexibility and freedom of
homeschool students to be in public places during school hours.
Homeschool children, even those from outside San Luis Obispo who are
just visiting, could be stopped to verify who they are and that they
have a valid excuse to be in a public place. HSLDA recently settled a
lawsuit against Los Angeles for false arrest of two homeschool
students under a similar law.

Please take action, as requested below, to defend your freedom.

Our volunteer coordinator for opposing the daytime curfew ordinance is
Mikhail Ganage. He can be reached via email at mgannage@gmail.com or
by phone at (805) 434-3043.

ACTION REQUESTED

1) Pray that this attack on freedom will be defeated.

2) 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.

3) This ordinance will be up for a public hearing at the Board of
Supervisors' meeting on January 17 at 9:00 a.m. held at 1055 Monterey
Street, Room D-170, San Luis Obispo. We encourage homeschoolers to
attend and testify in opposition to the proposed ordinance.

BACKGROUND

This problem is more than hypothetical. Even in ordinances such as
this one where exceptions for homeschoolers are written into the
curfew law, police officers frequently presume that any school-age
child is truant, regardless of whether he or she is homeschooled.
HSLDA has had to defend numerous California homeschoolers in court who
have been cited for violation of daytime curfews.

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 United
States Constitution.

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 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.
California has 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 a 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 will likely result in registration of privately
educated students with police departments with the attendant issuance
of ID cards and badges.

Curfew Anecdotes

Kyle* was a California homeschooler who 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,* a homeschooler, lived 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. But as Amy was walking, she was
accosted by a police officer who ticketed her for being on the street
in violation of Los Angeles' Daytime Loitering Ordinance.

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. A police officer picked him up, brought him home,
and cited him for violation of the daytime curfew.

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 .

A strategy packet for defeating daytime curfews can be found at:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=13297

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Standing with you,

Darren A. Jones, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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