Caddo Parish fights truancy in schools - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Caddo Parish fights truancy in schools

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CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

Kids go to school to learn reading, math, and social skills, but even if they aren't in school the Caddo Parish District Attorney says they're still learning.

"They're learning about drugs. They're learning about burglary. They're learning about theft. They're learning about being abused or abusing others," said District Attorney, Charles Scott.

That's why Scott thinks it's important for his office to get involved in truancy in the schools.

"Students who miss numerous days of school are most likely to repeat grades and drop out of school," said Caddo Parish School Board Superintendent Dr. Gerald Dawkins.

So far this school year 619 Caddo students are considered truant, down from this time last year. By the end of the 2011-2012 school year 4,640 students across the district were labeled truant.

While some cases are older students skipping school, there are also lots of truancy cases at the elementary school level. Sometimes the parent is the one responsible for the absence, and some parents will get referred to the courts if their kid has too many unexcused absences.

The district calls parents every time a child misses school. After 3 unexcused absences they will call a conference at the school, After 6 unexcused absences the child is truant, and they will refer the parent to the courts.

The District Attorney says his goal is to work with families, but his office will prosecute if necessary. If they do, that parent could face up to a$ 250 fine or 30 days in jail.

"We're not going away. We will be back to see you again and again until we get these kids back in school," said Scott.

So far Caddo Parish Schools have referred 103 families to the court system because of truancies.

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