Houston County Truancy Prevention Program

Before the bell rings, the lockers open, and classes are in session, Dothan and Houston County educators along with law officials are holding a session, taking aim at school truancy.

"We have a lot of people working together in the same direction, they are all working together and that's what it takes in a city like this," says Dothan City Schools Superintendant Tim Wilder.

Ovetta Coleman started the Houston County Truancy Prevention Program in 2010 and so far the program is working.

Here's how the numbers look right now.

"In 2010 we have 83 kids go through the program 3 of those reverted back to a truant behavior, this year, however, i have 63 kids who already have been through the program," says Coleman.

A program that these officials say could prevent a lifestyle of crime.

"Students who aren't going to school, they're getting lost behind, their getting in trouble, they're committing crimes, they're getting put on the streets, they're homeless and that's the result," says Wilder.

But not only are truant students dealing with the District Attorney. so are their parents.

"We can't make them go there but when they go, they meet and we say do you want to meet us here, or you want to meet us in the courtroom, we got no problem, they'll come and arrest you," says Dothan and Houston County District Attorney Doug Valeska.

But by parents and children being involved with the program they can prevent those consequences.

"The parents learn parenting styles, how to deal with problem behaviors. And basically how to say good job," says Coleman.

Positive reinforcement that could change a child's life forever.
The truancy classes are offered for children as young as ten years old.
Right now the truancy prevention classes met twice a week.


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