Truancy sweeps planned

first_imgLANCASTER – Sheriff’s deputies and high school truancy officers plan to conduct joint sweeps regularly through the end of the school year hunting for students ditching class. Youngsters out of school are more likely to get involved in burglaries, drinking or other trouble, officials said, adding that they are announcing the truancy sweeps – though without providing a schedule – to warn parents that truants will be cited and ordered to appear in court. “These kids are wandering around town unsupervised,” sheriff’s Sgt. Darrell Brown said. The large-scale truancy sweeps are coming as high school officials wrestle with the unintended side effect of a six-year-old attendance policy that bars academic class credit for teens who are absent without an excuse more than 10 times. Students picked up in the sweep will be returned to their school and cited. Their parents will be notified, officials said. The sweeps will be a larger-scale version of what deputies do every day, Brown said. Deputies cite about 10 juveniles a day for truancy. Several times a week they visit chronic truants’ homes with school attendance workers and cite their parents for not sending their children to class, Brown said. “We do this daily. We find kids that are truant and bring them back to the school,” Brown said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant The policy means students with absences already over the 10-day limit have no incentive to continue going to class, school officials say. So officials are looking for alternative punishments, such as banning chronic truants from such activities as school sports and proms. Last spring, nearly 1,700 students at district schools lost credit in one or more classes because they had more than 10 unexcused absences, even if their grades were otherwise passable. The old policy in place before 2000 cost students class credit if they were absent 15 days, excused or unexcused. The truancy sweeps will be conducted throughout the Antelope Valley by deputies from both the Lancaster and Palmdale stations, assisted by high school community-attendance workers. Deputies and school personnel will target known hangouts, such as the Antelope Valley Mall and fast-food restaurants, as well as neighborhoods that have experienced daytime burglaries and car thefts. last_img