Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Atlanta City Council approves ordinance allowing for
more flexibility in combating truancy
– The Atlanta City Council on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance
allowing for more flexibility in combating school truancy.
2009 the City Council created a daytime curfew for children ages 6 to 15 that
forbids them from being in public places during school day from 8:30am to
if the Atlanta Police Department finds a student breaking the daytime curfew,
they will contact Atlanta Public Schools, and the parent of the child.
After this process occurs three times, the police may cite the parent, and order
them to appear in Municipal Court.
vote now gives courts more options to fashion a remedy to the parent upon the
first conviction. The remedies could include parenting classes,
counseling, community service, or possibly a fine or jail time for the parent.
goal of this ordinance is NOT to put parents in jail or to administer fines.
Those are the methods of last resort,” said City Council President Ceasar C.
Mitchell. “Court is an option only after multiple attempts by Atlanta Public
Schools and the Atlanta Police Department to engage the parent in working to
improve the attendance of the student.”
Studies have shown that
truancy and school dropout rates are intertwined.
Nearly 90% of youth in
detention for delinquency have history of truancy, Mitchell said.
Truancy can also lead to
or encourage other high risk behaviors, he said.
September 2011 the Georgia Department of Education released a first-of-its kind
report on school truancy, or student absences. The data shows that ten percent
of Georgia students missed at least 15 days of school the previous year.
“This is a collaboration of the Atlanta City Council with Atlanta Public Schools, the Atlanta Police Department, and the City Solicitors Office,” said Council President Mitchell. “This is the kind of partnership we need to continue to move out city forward.”
complete list of items on the City Council’s agenda can be viewed in their
entirety on the Web at: http://citycouncil.atlantaga.gov/2012/fca0206.htm
adopted legislative items and any amendments to those items or substitute papers
can be viewed at: http://citycouncil.atlantaga.gov/Captions/default.asp
Council minutes can be viewed at: http://citycouncil.atlantaga.gov/Minutes2.htm
video of Atlanta City Council meetings can be viewed at: http://citycouncil.atlantaga.gov/Video.htm