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Should police conduct truancy sweeps?


Gabby R Says:

Thu, Aug 30 2012 10:37 PM

who among us can honestly say that we never ditched school in our youth? even the ol' senior ditch day was fun to do, but it was never legal. truancy sweeps however, are still legal for the cops to do, so even though the chief said they quit doing them, they can start right back up any time they feel like it.
the sweeps may serve as a temporary measure to discourage students from attempting to ditch, but in the long run they are an ineffective use of scare police resources. reality is, the majority of truants are not a real threat to any of us, and chances are good that these students will still graduate and turn out as normal as most of us.
i personally can think of a hundred other uses i would rather see my tax dollars be put to use doing, and i can betcha that our police are glad that they dont have do such demeaning police work anymore - for the time-being.

Karla Jensen Says:

Thu, Aug 30 2012 09:21 PM

Sorry Hector, you are wrong. Homeschooling is an exception. In the state of California, home schools fall under the category of Private Schools and therefore are not subject to compulsory education laws, which means they aren't truant. Home school instructors can teach their students on their own timetable, as there are no requirements to adhere to traditional, public school hours.
You should relax a little and stop assuming the worst about every juvenile you see in public. Most kids do not commit crimes, and most instances of truancy do not involve crimes either. Our community is a lot safer with all different types and ages of people out in public. You can be assured that some of these kids you see in public areas have perfectly valid reasons for not sitting in a public school, and they just might be the sweetest kids you ever met. Go pick on someone your own size for a change.

Kim Castillo Says:

Thu, Aug 30 2012 03:18 PM

Doing truency sweeps are a waste of tax dollars. First of all if a parent does not call in a absence for their child the school receives automated phone calls. And if a student wishes to do ditch school after the fact then they are going to continue to do so regardless. Parents also should not be judicially and financially responsible for student attendance. As a parent and educator I am aware of many good parents who council, discuss the harm of bad attendance,drag,and scream to get their children to school but still those who choose to not go to school will continue to do so! And parents are diciplined for this??? Absolutely ridiculous!!!!! And school districts/tax payers pay law enforement agencies for this. Yes, some parents need to be whooped into responsibility but its wrong to punish those who do try very hard to do whats right!

Hector Says:

Thu, Aug 30 2012 12:57 PM

Kids need to be in school. Sending the message that they really don't need to be learning only harms the young people in the long run. Relaxing truancy rules is folly and misguided.
Home schooling is no exception, they need to be working on their studies. Not hanging around 7-11 and bumming around.

Karla Jensen Says:

Thu, Aug 30 2012 12:22 PM

Wow "anniej"...such vitriol! And there is nothing quite like totally contradicting yourself too! You can't have both - non-governmental interference with your parenting techniques AND truancy sweeps. What you are saying demonstrates a complete ignorance of how ineffective truancy sweeps really are. Our state has existing truancy laws, and our city has an existing daytime curfew. The daytime curfew basically accomplishes the exact same thing as the state's laws, however the daytime curfew DOES IT WITH A BIG-ASS STICK! Huge fines, courtroom appearances...the works! Because of the mandated court appearance, the kid misses even more school, the parent misses work and income, and everyone is hugely inconvenienced over what typically only amounted to a youth walking down a public street! No crime was committed!

Truancy sweeps are like DUI checkpoints; a lot of police officers are dedicated to that day's effort and this translates into a lot of your tax dollars being redirected from providing actual protective services in order to chase down kids. If they were out picking up known drug dealers off the street, you could be satisfied that your tax dollars were being well-spent, but in the case of truancy sweeps, they are simply picking up kids who don't have clear reasons for being out in public instead of school. These are not criminals, and that is an important distinction that needs to made. I repeat, these are not criminals!

To be fair, the issue of truancy is so much more complex than what many people assume, and can only be fairly addressed when our police department stops cherry-picking their statistics and our school system steps up to the plate and assumes their fair share of the responsibility for it. Our school district already has the clear option of following state truancy laws which provides a multi-tiered process of steps to address the issue of truancy. The CA Dept of Ed's process of punishing truants makes a deliberate effort to keep punishment between the student, his parents, and the school for as long as possible before any steps are taken that involve the courts. There are even recent studies that demonstrate that early court involvement for high school students has the unintended effect of actually discouraging them from completing high school - thus creating drop-outs that may not have happened if only the incident of truancy had been kept out of the courts. Our current state laws for truancy may or may not be working, but it is clear to me that our current daytime curfew law is having no impact whatsoever on SUHSD's truancy rate. After 14 years of operating under a daytime curfew, SUHSD's truancy rate is abysmal, to say the least, averaging in the high 40-percentile. This problem can't be solved simply by rounding up the 'usual suspects' and dragging them back to school, and admonishing their parents, and levying huge fines against them. It can't be solved that way because that way HASN'T worked for a very long time. Again, our school's need to accept that they should be playing a larger role in this process.

So if the current daytime curfew isn't even working, what possible justification is there for continuing to hold truancy sweeps? None.

anniej Says:

Mon, Aug 27 2012 08:36 PM

and once they round up these goof offs they need to proceed to the parents work place and issue them a hearing notice mandating that they appear before the court.

while i am not in favor of government interfering in the way i raise my child, i do take exception to these parents who have lost total control because in the end WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR SUZY OR JOHNNY WHEN THEY END UP IN JAIL...............................

too bad these folks did not realize that the cute little newborn they were holding was going to grow up to be a juvenile delinquent IF they were not willing to do what was there primary job - PARENT.............

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