Ticketing for Truancy: Improvement or Imprisonment?

December 8, 2010  |  

(New American Media) — He was on his way to class. He really was. He wasn’t “ditching” and he had no intentions of leaving campus to engage in illicit or illegal behavior.  Rodney Smith said he forgot his backpack in the school cafeteria and went to retrieve it; that’s the reason he was late to class after lunch, and being late is the reason he was given a truancy ticket.  “…I was just a couple of minutes late … the officers took me to their office to give me the ticket which made me even later for class than I had been for just going to get my backpack,” he said.  “Truancy” tickets are issued to students throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) under Los Angeles Municipal Code 45.04, which prohibits juveniles from loitering during normal school hours. Students who are not in school during those hours and who appear to be without parental/adult supervision are given citations that come with a minimum fine of $50 dollars.

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