Daytime curfew crackdown on Flint students playing hookie - WNEM TV 5

Daytime curfew crackdown on Flint students playing hookie

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Students who think it's cool to skip school have another thing coming.  Flint is cracking the whip on students who play hookie, and those who do will face consequences.

"From the statistics, it is just natural to think they must be up to something," said Tonya Cleveland, a parent who agrees with the new enforced rules.

Maybe you knew this, maybe you didn't.  The city already has a daytime curfew from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for school children 17 and under.  Flint Council member Sheldon Neeley said the rule hasn't been heavily enforced until now.

"Our success, our failure, lies with our youth, so this is a part of the plan to make sure our community will survive," said Neeley.

Students caught roaming the streets will be picked up by police or school truancy officers and brought to the old Lawndale Elementary School building off of Pasadena.  At the old school, they'll deal with school officials, tutors and social services representatives who will work to get the child on the right track.  It is all part of the city's new anti-truancy campaign brought on by the nonprofit Champions organization.

"We want to enforce the enforcement of it, not to criminalize people, but we want to get young people in the schools, educate them, to produce a healthier society," said Neeley.

The Michigan Department of Education reports that 23 percent of the district's students were considered truant last year.  Attendance court Judge Duncan Beagle said he knows all too well the problems the families face, but during the day, students must get to school, which he believes in the long term will cut down on crime and make for a better society.

"It's a community problem, but listen, if I have anything to say to parents, your children's education is absolutely got to be the number one priority," said Beagle.

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