A growing number of Illinois municipalities have daytime curfew laws in place. While these laws do not directly target homeschoolers, they do affect us more than they do other law-abiding school-aged children. Therefore, we do not support daytime curfews, and we encourage citizens to work against efforts on the part of their local governments to impose daytime curfews.
If you are in an area with a daytime curfew law and have a child out and about on public streets during your public school's hours, it would be wise to acquaint yourself with the exact wording of that law and to talk to your child about what to say to a police officer who asks why he or she is not in school.
We strongly advise that your child carry a School ID card from your homeschool, or a letter with your school's letterhead, stating that your child is on official school business. Your signature and telephone number(s) should appear prominently so the officer can question you, rather than your child. If your child is away from the house, and not with you, you are still responsible for him/her. Make sure that you stay near a phone, so that you can always be reached. At no time should your child hand a cell phone over to the officer to use. Cell phones contain private information which should not be given to the police without a search warrant.
Keep in mind that the police officer's job is simply to identify truants and get them off the street. Even specially-designated truant officers are not qualified to judge your educational program. Offering justifications for your child's activities is therefore not recommended. If a police officer calls you to ask why your child is out on the street, politely and firmly state that your child is a student in good standing at a school that is in compliance with the Illinois compulsory attendance law, and that s/he is away from the school building with the school's full knowledge and permission.