Since yesterday there has been overwhelming attention given to Provo’s proposed daytime curfew law. I’d like to thank everyone who has taken their time to comment and give thought to this ordinance.
A number of residents have written and called asking for additional information regarding this proposed law. As always, the recordings of the discussions as well as their minutes are available on the city’s website. I would like to clarify a few points of concern:
- An older version of this legislation as a secondary offense is being circulated. This is not likely to be the final draft that the council will consider. During our most recent meeting on this proposed legislation, a motion was made that created this law as a primary offense rather than a secondary, providing officers with the option of stopping children outside during school hours without other probable cause (See video). It’s not clear what form this legislation will take when the council finalizes it on Tuesday. The new law should be available sometime before this meeting but it has not yet been distributed to the council or the public.
- Since the beginning of this discussion I have been very open in sharing my opinion. While this legislation has been drafted with the best of intentions, I firmly believe that it could have negative consequences for our community. I don’t believe there is any intent to harass home schoolers or those of us that happen to look young. However, we should not make laws which make such harassment possible as well as legal. It just doesn’t make sense.
- During this process we as a council have given much time and consideration to the views of the legislation’s proponents. We have not yet had a chance to listen to the views of parents that homeschool, attend private schools, or have any other situation in which this law could cause inconvenience or harm. I think those opinions are just as important as those that want this law passed.
- I understand that people have different views on this ordinance. Wherever you stand on this issue, I want to hear it. Please continue to share your opinions leading up to and at our next council meeting.
I’d like to end by sharing this email I received.
Dear Mr. Beck,
I was a homeschool kid in California and I was often stopped by police and harassed and interrogated for being out and about during school hours. We would ride our bikes from one side of town to the other to attend orchestra at the junior high. My parents made us school id cards and still this was not enough. We were told it looked homemade and not official enough. We then had to get a state issued id and a letter from the school district, both of which we had to keep on us at all times. To this day I still have an anxiety attack every time a cop pulls up behind me. Every time we were stopped it made me feel like I was a bad kid and heaven forbid is someone I knew saw me being questioned by a cop. There is already a system put in place to deal with truant kids. Lets enforce the system we have. I don’t think any kid, especially if they are not breaking the law, should be subject to or treated as a second class citizen. I know there are many kids who, like me, graduate early at 16 or 17 years and go on to attend college. This is a college town what about those kids. This is a bad idea! We have truant officers assigned to every school, we pay them, so let’s use them. Yes, there needs to be consequences for delinquent children but lets not make a sweeping assumption that all children who are not in school during school hours are delinquents. I want my kids to trust and respect the police and I don’t see this proposed ordinance as helping me to do that. Why does the city feel they need this ordinace? Are we really having a problem with delinquent kids running a muck all over Provo? I live downtown, and I’ve not see anything like that in my neighborhood. So if this is happening, where is it happening? I’m strongly opposed to this ordinance and I want my voice to be heard…Thank you for informing me of this situation and for giving me the opprotunity to make my voice heard.