That was part of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals explanation on a reversal and remanding of an Indiana curfew law in 2004.
Hodgkins v. Peterson
From the Wisconsin Law Journal- Curfews on minors violate First Amendment: A curfew on minors impermissibly chills the exercise of their First Amendment rights and is unconstitutional, the Seventh Circuit held on Jan. 22.
In Arthur last week at the homeschool support group meeting, there was discussion about daytime curfews. There have been several passed. It’s hard to keep track of which Illinois towns and cities homeschoolers, (and others not on The Public School Schedule), might have to prove they’re legally walking the streets or playing in their front yard. One comment on the Illinois Review about Maywood gives an idea of what’s heading our way:
Lincoln was one of the towns dealing with a daytime curfew. The proper term in municipalities is truancy ordinance and the daytime curfew was passed this week (with
exemptions…chilliness), as reported by the Lincoln Courier.
This same Lincoln council had a member who suggested that homeschoolers wear badges if they care to venture outside during school hours. The ordinance stands. Kids found out and about are guilty until proven innocent. Here’s an article synopsis timeline of Lincoln events and the degradation of freedom rights.
Truancy proposal rappedPublished Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Alderman Wanda Rohlfs, who mentioned the possibility of badges identifying home schoolers, said, "I see an awful lot of kids in Scully Park," across from the Main Street Lincoln office she directs.
Rohlfs is a retired Lincoln Community High School teacher and counselor.
Be careful with truancy ordinance Editorial published Saturday, April 14, 2007
Home school parents are concerned because they fear an impingement on freedom, that passage of an ordinance might intimidate their children and make them reluctant to perform assignments away from home during “school hours.”
We oppose that idea.[Wanda Rolfs'] Home schooled kids, just by virtue of being schooled at home, already belong to a group of “different” kids. We see no reason to further single them out for further ostracizing.
Home schooled kids as a group generally are bright, motivated and skilled at studying independently. While every group has its problems, we see no reason to single out home schoolers simply because they might not be in a classroom.
That, we think, is the fear of the parents. That their children would feel inhibited and restricted.
It’s about freedom, they say.
Council stands by truancy ordinance Home-school parents voice concerns
Published Wednesday, November 28, 2007
In their version of the ordinance, the parents removed the word "student" several times and replaced it with "truant."
Bates said he is especially concerned with the home-school parents’ desire to change the definition of a truant. All students – including those who are home-schooled and those enrolled in public or private schools – "are all subject to compulsory attendance," Bates said.
Students become truants, he said when they have an unexcused absence from attending class.
But according to the group’s suggested definition, a student could not be labeled a truant unless he or she has been previously identified as such by Jean Anderson, superintendent of the Regional Office of Education, or by school administrators.
"If they’re not on Jean’s list, they’re not a truant," Bates said, referring to that key point in the parents’ revisions. "That’s not what I consider a minor change."
It might be not be a minor change, but it might be accurate. This issue regressed in Lincoln to this point:
The home-school parents raised their objections late last year as the council was poised to vote on the measure. Neitzel tabled the measure and promised the home-school group she would have one more committee meeting to air their concerns.
When that meeting finally took place last month, the home-school parents said instead of extensively rewriting the ordinance, they would be satisfied if one simple provision be added to the enforcement section of the proposal. That provision requires a police or truancy officer to contact the school or the regional superintendent’s office to determine a child’s status before a citation is written.
Well, kids, you’re guilty until that contact is made. If I’m understanding correctly, Anderson’s office or the school office gets a phone call from the police or truancy officer about any potential 7-17 year old outside their house. Baby, it’s cold outside.
Here’s part of the conclusion of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in reversing the nighttime curfew for this Indiana case: Hodgkins vs Peterson
Consequently, we reverse the judgment and remand with directions to enjoin the enforcement of Indiana’s curfew until such time as the State’s legislature removes the chill that the statute places on the exercise of First Amendment rights by minors. Although this case is before us on the appeal of a denial of a motion for preliminary injunction, given the manner in which the parties and district court agree that the affirmative defenses will operate, the constitutional defect in this case is clear. There’s no need for further proceedings on this matter and judicial efficiency will best be served with an instruction tithe district court to permanently enjoin the enforcement of the curfew law.
Although this disposition renders it unnecessary to reach the plaintiff parents’ due process claim, the nature of the curfew’s affirmative defenses leads us to make one final observation about that claim. The premise of the due process claim is that parents have a right to make decisions about their children’s upbringing without undue interference by the state. Courts sustaining curfew laws against this type of claim typically cite the laws’ exceptions and defenses as evidence that the laws interfere only minimally with parental authority.
Valerie has good links and good information about this issue. It’s another cutting edge onslaught and it hurts: