Hot Topic Frozen for Now: Daytime Curfew in KCMO

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The city council decided Wednesday to table anymore discussion about a daytime curfew for kids 17-years-old and younger in Kansas City.

The idea immediately encountered resistance and criticism, especially from home schooling parents, who for two weeks in a row packed City Hall to speak against the proposal.

At Wednesday's public safety hearing, city council members backed away from the plan, put it on hold for another four weeks, and even changed the way they are referring to the proposed ordinance. They're not calling it a "daytime curfew."

The amended measure would no longer include curfew hours but would target children left unattended by an adult in a public place. Parents could face a fine and their kids an in-school suspension as part of an effort to reduce truancy.

Police insist the measure would not target kids who are home schooled.

"It gives us the ability to hold the parents somewhat accountable if we need to,"  said Capt. Todd Paulson with Kansas City, Mo. Police.

Home-schooling parents believe the cost outweighs the benefits.

"Trauma to the children that are stopped. No longer is our city a free place to home school where my children can skateboard, go to the store," said Mark Powers, who attended the meeting.

City council member Scott Wagner said the ordinance is really nothing new. He says police already have the authority to handle truant kids. This proposal, he said, would simply hold parents accountable financially, although it wouldn't be easy.

"For that to be enforced, you actually have to prove that the parents said I knew that my child wasn't going to school," he said. "Now how do you prove that?"

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