28. Day-Time Curfews, Truancy Sweeps, and ID Cards for Homeschoolers (5/98)

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Whereas state and local governments and public and private agencies are using increasingly repressive measures to try to keep young people in school, including day-time curfews and police pick-ups of young people who are not inside a school building during “school hours;” and

Whereas such repressive measures have not been shown to be effective in any case but rather have often been found to be counterproductive; and

Whereas these measures are a severe infringement of people’s basic freedoms and civil liberties, including the freedom to be in public places and not be interrogated or arrested without reasonable evidence and due process, and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty; and

Whereas truancy sweeps and ID cards issued to young people by the state through a school district mean that the state has claimed the authority to determine who is free and who is not, which replaces parental responsibility and authority with institutions and the police; and

Whereas the ID cards do not prevent children, including children as young as five or six (or younger if a current legislative bill AB686 passes), from being stopped and questioned by police, social workers, or others designated by public schools to enforce truancy laws; and

Whereas these measures send strong negative messages of dislike and mistrust to young people, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding citizens; and

Whereas such gross infringements on civil liberties and the basic tenants of a free society threaten the freedom of all of us, not just young people in cities where such repressive measures are practiced;

Be it resolved by members of the Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) that WPA will work through its members to oppose the use of ID cards for homeschoolers, day-time curfews, and truancy sweeps; and

Be it further resolved that WPA will work through its members to inform parents, the general public, and legislators of the unacceptability and risk of such laws and practices. 5/98

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