Daytime curfew shines bright in Bedford elections Fort Worth Star-Telegram May 05, 2009
By DIANNA HUNT
Continuing controversy over the curfew has spilled into the campaigns for mayor and two City Council seats.
“It probably did bring some candidates out, initially, and for a couple of them, it’s probably still their main issue,” said Mayor Jim Story, who is running for re-election against political newcomer Kenneth Kimmons.
Says Kimmons: “It is an issue, and I think it’s an important one, but it’s not the only one.”
Accuse an opponent of a one issue candidacy and you could win points. But I have seen activists become involved in one community issue, and then take note of how leaders operate in that and other issues at council meetings. It’s a learning experience waiting for your turn and your issue at City Council meetings. Sometimes it leads you to try making a positive difference by running for office.
From the S-T article:
The council approved an ordinance in September that prohibits people under 17, with a few exceptions, from being in a public place between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on school days. Violators and their parents can be fined up to $500. Businesses are required to alert officials if a youth is on their property during those hours.
The measure has drawn opposition from home-schooling families and civil libertarians, who say the measure erodes personal freedom and forces students, parents and businesses to go to court to prove their innocence. Supporters say the ordinance is having the desired effect of reducing truancy and daytime crime.
Mayor Story said that his leadership “accommodated home-schoolers in the ordinance“. But it appears that Bedford businesses and families (not on the 9-2:30 education schedule) have to continuously respond to authorities if kids go out and about during Bedford school district hours. The public front doesn’t appear to be a business or family friendly community, if anyone asked me.
One City Council candidate, Jason McCaffity, ( a police sergeant) said they should get rid of the daytime curfew.
“This is just another senseless or needless law that is on the books,” he said. “It doesn’t actually address truancy — it makes it illegal for children to be in public in the daytime.”
There are no useful “exemptions” to daytime curfew when you are guilty until proven innocent.
Home Education Magazine January-February 1997
Truancy, Curfews and Our Response- Janie Levine Hellyer
In July, 1996, the U.S. Department of Education in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice issued a “Manual to Combat Truancy.” The manual speaks of truancy as “the first sign of trouble,” and “a gateway to crime.” It encourages communities to involve parents, ensure that students face firm sanctions for truancy, create meaningful incentives for parental responsibility, establish ongoing truancy prevention programs in school, and involve local law enforcement in truancy reduction efforts. The manual then goes on to describe what it calls “successful models of new anti-truancy initiatives” in communities across the nation. Statistics are provided that hold up truancy prevention efforts beside crime reduction figures. Sources for funding, training and technical assistance to communities are offered. In response, communities across the country are setting in place ordinances and regulations. In early October, we asked families to tell us what they were seeing and how the new regulations were affecting their families and communities. [Continue reading the homeschoolers’ observations of curfew regulations at the HEM site and within News-Commentary archives.]
Home Education Magazine March-April 1999
Taking Charge- Curfews and Homeschoolers
Larry and Susan Kaseman
As homeschoolers, we need to be informed about daytime curfews for several reasons.
* Although only a few communities have enacted curfews so far, the number is increasing.
* Curfews undermine everyone’s basic freedoms.
* Our efforts to oppose curfews are much more likely to be effective if we act now, before curfews are proposed in our community, or at least are prepared to act immediately if they are proposed in our community.
* We may be drawn into debates about how curfews can be made less inconvenient for homeschoolers. This shifts the focus away from the serious issues. There are no “good” curfews. [Continue reading at the site]