“Papers please” in Provo

Someone forwarded me this letter from Sterling Beck on Provo’s council. If you live in Provo you’d better get your voice heard quick before this meeting on March 1st. Read below and email Sterling with your thoughts. Be sure to let others in the Provo area know about this too.

Dear Neighbors,
During next Tuesday’s Council Meetings there will be a vote to consider implementing a ‘Daytime Curfew Ordinance’. (At 7pm in the council chambers at 351 West Center St. Provo)
I have already heard from parents of children that attend various public schools, as well as charter schools and home school.  They have all expressed concern about an ordinance which will cause children to be detained any time they are outside school during the day regardless of the reason.
This proposed ordinance will require our already overworked police department to stop, search, and detain any child that appears to be under the age of 18 that is outside during normal school hours.  For example, under this ordinance a home schooled child riding his bike to his grandmother’s house could be arrested, searched, and fined simply for being outside (its happened in other cities).
This ordinance has been widely criticized, the local paper has taken a stand against it, the tribune has questioned its constitutionality, and several council members and school board members have expressed concern over an ordinance that will essentially force every one in Provo that happens to look under 18 to carry an ID at all times or face possible arrest. This type of an ordinance has directly targeted and harmed homeschooling and charter school programs in other cities.
While the actual ordinance language has not yet been made public, past discussion indicates that home schoolers will be required to request a pass from the school district in order to be permitted to go outside without being arrested or fined.
I am writing this because unfortunately, there is still a strong push to pass this ordinance.  Consideration of this ordinance has spanned the course of nearly a dozen meetings making it impossible for the public to adequately follow what has been happening. We need more residents to make their opinions known to the municipal council!
Please take the time to forward this via email to other concerned residents, to contact me at sterling@sterlingbeck.com with your thoughts on this ordinance, as well as contact all of the municipal council members by clicking this link.
Please also consider attending the council meeting on Tuesday March 1st to speak against it.

Sterling Beck
Provo City Council District 5
801-472-3160 : www.followprovo.com

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. Unfortunately, Tuesday night is the one night a week that I work, so, I will not be able to attend the council meeting. Thank you for informing me of this situation and for giving me the opprotunity to make my voice heard.


7 Responses to ““Papers please” in Provo”

  • Liz:

    I homeschool my kids and we like to take field trips to BYU and the Provo Library. Are my kids subject to being searched if they are with me?

  • Good question. I’m not sure but I would think they would be OK if they were with you. Maybe email Sterling above and ask him.

  • Anonymous:

    It’s sad, but there are so many kids that are kept home by a parent, yet no education is happening. Our educations system, even though it is failing, feels that they have to school everybody to “Ensure Future of Our Democracy.”

  • Thomas Jefferson said, “it is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible asportation and education of the infant against the will of the father.”

  • Pamela:

    I wonder who determines what and when “no education is happening?” I have seen plenty of public schooled children where it could be assumed “no education is happening,” ie: when they cannot read, figure simple math equations, converse coherently, etc. even at a high school level. Just curious where that assertion is coming from…

    The false assumption that the education system feels it is their job to reach everybody is a misnomer. They should first focus on the students who have been entrusted to their care.. Let’s hope that the future of our Republic is not in the hands of the education system.

  • Anonymous:

    If an enforcement immigration bill passes all hispanic people will be at risk and have to suffer the things spoken of here. If you insist that minorities suffer these things, you don’t deserve to escape these things yourself.

  • Jennrc3:

    Illegal immigration issues are different than this. If there is reasonible cause to check immigration status because a law is broken, that is different than stopping, searching and detaining our children that are homeschooled, or graduated early, or were kept home for some other reason, just because they look under the age of 18. Truancy officers can do their jobs, but police have better things to do than this, including cracking down on criminals who enter our country illegally.