YREKA, Calif. — The parents of two different Yreka children were arrested Friday for failing to bring their children to school, according to Siskiyou County Probation Department.
Bessie Grant, 28, was charged with delinquency of a minor and three counts of failure to supervise pupil’s school attendance.
David Goodwin,31, was charged with failure to send child to school and failure to supervise pupil’s school attendance.
According to SCPD, the charges are based on the child’s age. When a older students caught “skipping” school, the charges are directed to the minor.
In these cases, both children were younger than 16-years-old, therefore their absences were caused by the parents failure to bring them to school.
“Over the past year we have spent a significant amount of time revamping our truancy program and creating partnerships with local school districts. We have two officers that have been dedicated to working with the schools, students and parents to help ensure that every child is attending school and afforded the education they deserve. While today, we had to arrest two parents for not complying with the law, we have had great success in helping other families and students get on track and have a positive school attendance record. The mission of this program is not to simply hold individuals accountable, but also to provide services and help to families that are in need. Overall, this department is fortunate to have Probation Officers that are passionate about helping our youth become educated successful adults. I would also like to thank District Attorney Kirk Andrus and his office for their support and assistance in holding the non-compliant parents accountable,” Chief Probation Officer Allison Giannini stated.
The lengthy process involved three separate letters by the school.
The first letter is received after a pattern of unexcused absences, usually three unexcused absences.
The second is sent after 5 unexcused absences and a meeting is set up between the school and parent(s) to try to resolve the problem. A probation officer from the Probation Department is assigned to the Truancy Abatement Program and is present at the meetings whenever possible. Generally may cases are resolved at this level due to the services and assistance offered to the families.
The third letter is sent after 7 unexcused absences that serves as a notice and a hearing in front of the School Attendance Review Board, parents, and child. In this hearing all parties will come up to a plan that is signed by all parties to ensure the student will successfully attend school there on out.
In both Grant and Goodwin’s cases, both parents had signed these agreements and the students continued to be absent from school. At this point the cases were were sent to the District Attorney’s office to consider charging the parents for contributing to their children’s unexcused absences.
“This is an excellent opportunity, in partnership with the Department of Probation, District Attorney’s Office, and our local law enforcement partners to enforce truancy laws and hold students but more importantly, parents or guardians, accountable for school attendance. Kids who do not attend school, especially habitual truants, are more prone to become involved in crime-related activity and are more inclined to engage in substance abuse and other unsavory activities. Siskiyou County schools provide a variety of superior learning and life enrichment activities and kids benefit by attending scheduled classes and engaging in lawful, mandated, and important school-related activities. I applaud this renewed effort to enforce truancy laws, which will ultimately hold those responsible accountable, will help our kids attend school and maximize their potential for success, and ultimately, this program will help reduce crime and victimization,” Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey said in a statement.