A Tale of Two Cities

The daytime curfew issue continues to raise its ugly head across the state of Texas as more and more cities decide the statute that the legislature adopted to allow cities to deal with crime is a good “tool” to use to circumvent the compulsory attendance laws of the state of Texas.

In most cities in which this issue is raised, home schoolers tend to lead the opposition, as they are aware of the stories of the abuse and misuse of such ordinances by overzealous law enforcement officers. In fact, over recent years THSC has written many letters intervening for families with city or county officials regarding daytime curfews.

Home schoolers are not the only group, however, who have a problem with such ordinances. The minority community is often the target of the selective enforcement of such ordinances, as demonstrated in Houston. In addition, many business owners are opposed to such ordinances, which often include penalties and fines for businesses that do not report to the police young people on their premises.

Some communities have decided that they don’t need daytime curfew ordinances. Georgetown made such a decision a few months ago, and just last week the sheriff of Williamson County decided to drop his request for a daytime curfew because of strong opposition from the home school community, which happens to be very active in election campaigns in the area. One home schooler shared, “He stopped me to tell me that he has removed the daytime curfew from consideration. He admitted that he had no idea the home schooling community was so large in Williamson County … he decided any perceived benefits of the curfew would not outweigh the negative feedback from such a large portion of the population. His words were, ‘There will not be a daytime curfew as long as I am sheriff …’ He also encouraged me to send an e-mail to the homeschool community and pass along the news.”

This incident shows that an active and involved home school community can have a great impact upon the protection of our freedom. In Dallas, however, the mayor continues to move forward with his plan to adopt a daytime curfew, complete with detention center and $500 fines. Here, too, home schoolers are leading the charge against the ordinance, as reported in a recent TV interview. Home schoolers continue to battle the daytime curfew in Bedford, which was adopted without a public hearing. Leaders there have even started a blog to help educate people on the issue.

One thing has become clear; if no one opposes these measures or people are unaware of them until they are adopted, it is much more difficult to reclaim our freedom. Be vigilant about what goes on in your city and county government, and be ready to oppose a daytime curfew in your area if it surfaces. For more information on daytime curfews, go to the THSC website.