July 20, 2007

St. Louis Daytime Curfew Proposal in Limbo

Several months ago, an alert Home School Legal Defense Association member notified us that a member of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen had proposed creating a daytime curfew in St. Louis, and had gone as far as drafting an ordinance.

Daytime curfews are unnecessary for good order. They are often touted as a way to reduce truancy and juvenile crime, but there is little or no evidence to support this. The impact on law-abiding youth, however, is undisputed: restricting a young person’s freedom to move about during the daytime creates an atmosphere of fear reminiscent of totalitarian states, and often leads to harassment of homeschoolers. Homeschool youth have the most to lose, since they have the most daytime freedom.

As we tracked this issue, the alderman who made the proposal never made his draft public, to our knowledge. We have followed up numerous times, and it appears he has lost interest. We cannot be certain, however, that his interest will not revive at some at some unexpected moment in the future.

Homeschoolers all across Missouri, and in St. Louis, should keep a close eye on city and county boards, and contact HSLDA immediately if they get wind of any effort to impose a daytime curfew.