RAYTOWN, Mo. - All four of Brad Haines' children graduated from homeschool. He said all them went on to college and earned their associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees.
Now, Haines is fighting for the rights of parents who want to educate at home, too, as head of the Families for Home Education. In recent years, the fight has focused largely on daytime curfews.
“Curfews are basically a poor way to enforce law in a free society in the first place because it's making an activity that's not illegal in the first place, illegal based on a time of day or the age of the person who is participating in an activity," he explained.
The Raytown curfew that could have been voted on earlier this month restricted school-aged children to homes or schools during regular school hours.
“Either our children couldn't be out in public during these hours, or they would be subject to being stopped, questioned and have to prove someone to the officer's satisfaction that the child was homeschooled," Haines said.
The proposed ordinance was tabled.
On Tuesday, 41 Action New received this statement from Raytown Public Information Officer Brenda Gustafson:
“The Board of Aldermen had a first reading of a policy for a daytime curfew on September 2, 2012. During the public comments for the first reading, several individuals testified in opposition to the bill for various reasons. After listening to the concerns, the Aldermen felt more research and review was needed and referred the bill to the City attorney.
The policy has been re-written and is being reviewed by both the police, school district and some representatives of opposition views. The City attorney is looking for consensus on language to provide an equitable policy. As soon as we have a finished policy it will be brought to the table for a second reading and vote. At this time, we do not know an exact date."
The Raytown School District supports a daytime curfew to create community support for school attendance. Kansas City, Mo., has a truancy ordinance and Independence, Mo., has a daytime curfew. The district wants a similar measure in Raytown to even the playing field.
Raytown students come from all three cities.
“In order for the school district to meet their needs, and to meet the requirement of No Child Left Behind, they are asking for a daytime curfew," explained Raytown Alderman Jim Aziere.
For that reason, he told 41 Action News, he would vote in favor of a curfew.
“I think that daytime curfew takes away natural rights. I'm opposed to that but at the same time our school district's future is at stake,” he explained.
Haines would rather see a truancy ordinance passed in Raytown, like the one recently agreed upon in Kansas City.
One of his major concerns for a broad brush curfew is that not every school building holds class during the same hours. Homeschool students can often be in school on nights or even weekends.
There's been no word yet on when this ordinance will be back in front of the aldermen for a vote.
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