With the new school year underway, truancy programs are in high gear throughout the area. Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy, said that she’ll be focusing on the problem of truancy, along with other matters, over the next few weeks.
“A lot of young people are not in school. After the pandemic, a lot of students didn’t return. What are those students doing? What are those young people doing? They’re out here in the communities, some of them are making bad decisions,” Braveboy said.
For the second straight year, Braveboy will partner with school district officials to send a joint letter to parents with children who have five or more days of unexcused absences. The letters will advise parents and legal guardians that they could face legal consequences if they fail to ensure that their children between the ages of five and 16 are in regular attendance at school.
“We have something called truancy court in Prince George’s County,” Braveboy said.
Authorities examine the factors that may be keeping a child out of school, and make efforts to identify resources that will help the child keep up with school attendance.
Braveboy, who pointed to national statistics that show most juvenile crime happens between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., said that while truancy court is designed to hold parents accountable for sending their children to school, the ultimate goal is not to penalize the parent.
“[The goal] really is compliance,” Braveboy said.