Jefferson truancy drops with new policy

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The number of students and parents charged with violating school attendance laws in Jefferson County has dropped by almost 65 percent between 2006 and 2009 after a policy shift.

Jefferson County Family Court Judge Brian Huff says the decline
is a result of a change in the county's approach to battling truancy by holding parents accountable instead of the children.

Some 320 parents and children were charged with violating school
attendance laws in 2006.

Records show that number dropped to 114 in 2009.

Juvenile probation officer Jeff McGee says: "We found if
parents stand a chance of going to jail, the kids go to school.

We can't fix the kid unless we fix the parent."

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