New Centers Help Chronic Truants

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Police admit they couldn’t do much for truant teens in the past. 

"What would happen is the student would simply get in trouble, either detention or suspension." 

Police Sergeant Matt Young says that changed just over a year ago when an Attendance Center was opened at Luther Burbank High School. The center connects truant teens with social workers. 

"…as opposed to slapping him on the wrist and sending him on his way, these centers allow us to say ‘what’s really going on with this kid? Let’s fix it, let’s get him back in class.’"

Young says they’ve seen a drop in crime rates around the high school since the center began.

Steve Farrar is superintendent of the Natomas Unified School District where a second Attendance Center has just opened at Inderkum High School. He says the success rate is high. 

"If kids are being picked up and brought to the Attendance Centers, given the counseling that their families need, then 85 out of 100 will not do it again." 

A third Attendance Center has also just opened at C.K. McClatchy High. Funding for the three centers comes from both the city and county of Sacramento.