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March 7, 2011

The Power of Activism

On March 1, nearly 100 homeschoolers in Provo, Utah, demonstrated for freedom and against a proposed citywide daytime curfew ordinance. The curfew was supported by the mayor and would have would have prohibited school-age children from being in a public place during school hours without a legal excuse. Shopkeepers would have been obligated to call the police if anyone appearing to be a minor came into their place of business during school hours.

A local member family informed HSLDA about the threat the day before the vote was to occur at the Provo city council. An e-lert was quickly sent, urging homeschoolers to contact members of the council and express their opposition. Homeschoolers who attended the rally the day of the vote held signs in protest of the ordinance that would have infringed on their freedom of movement. In response to the overwhelming calls and activism from primarily homeschooling families, the mayor changed his views and asked the council to withdraw the proposal. Homeschool families gathered with signs held high in victory and sent a strong message that freedom is taken seriously in Provo.

While it is understandable that local school districts want to make sure that “their” children are in school, daytime curfews are an unreasonable way to accomplish this objective. Existing truancy laws are sufficient to deal with this problem—if adequately enforced. HSLDA battles daytime curfews because homeschoolers get caught in the crossfire. In areas where curfews have been passed homeschool students are sometimes questioned, harassed, and even taken into custody by police. Research has shown that these curfews are simply not effective in accomplishing their goal. HSLDA is pleased to stand with homeschoolers all over the country to fight against this kind of overreaching by local authorities.

 Other Resources

The Salt Lake Tribune: “Provo Pulls Truancy Ordinance as Homeschoolers Protest”