Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Your help is urgently needed to block an effort in Kansas City, MO, to pass an ordinance that would make it a crime for young people to be in a public place during public school hours.
There is more information available from HSLDA on how to take action to stop this curfew or you can call Mayor James at (816) 513-3500.
This ordinance would not only effect homeschool families but it will also effect children that attend private schools that have different hours & holidays from the public schools.
This will also effect public school children. If your children attend public school outside of Kansas City, MO and their school is not in session and you decide to take your kids on an outing in Kansas City, MO (like the Kansas City Zoo or Nelson-Atkins Museum, etc.) you could be stopped and questioned by authorities without probable cause.
If your child is passed compulsory school age but still looks young, they could be stopped and questioned by authorities without probable cause just for being in a public place within Kansas City limits during public school hours.
There are many school districts within the city of Kansas City and they each have different hours, days of attendance, breaks & holidays. What will determine "public school hours" with so many districts in the area?
Please call & help stop this dangerous daytime curfew.
Background Info on Daytime Curfews from HSLDA:
1. Daytime curfews do not deter juvenile crime. A recent California study compared the juvenile crime rates of counties that enforced curfew ordinances and counties that did not. The crime rates were the same. The curfews had no effect on juvenile crime.
2. Daytime curfews allow searches without probable cause. The Fourth Amendment forbids any investigation of a citizen without a “probable cause.” The proposed ordinance allows policemen to stop and interrogate a person merely because he looks young enough to be violating the curfew. It is an invitation to harass homeschool families.
3. Daytime curfews assume a person is guilty until proven innocent. In several incidents where homeschool students were stopped by police, they had done nothing to arouse suspicion. There was no evidence they had committed a crime or intended to. Nonetheless, the police interrogated them and treated them like criminals until they had proved their innocence.
4. The ordinance allows some exceptions. Unfortunately, the only way for a policeman to determine if an exception applies is to stop and interrogate the frightened young person. By then the damage has already been done. The child may be afraid to go outdoors again. The right to homeschool includes the right to be free from fear—especially for young people, who are most vulnerable to feelings of fear.
5. The ordinance pressures homeschool families to follow the public school schedule. Those who dismiss their kids while public schools are in session could face harassment.
6. HSLDA and Families for Home Education are united in opposing this ordinance.