In the last week, I’ve stopped kids walking down Bonner Street during school hours and asked them why they weren’t in school.
The river of BS flowed freely out of their young mouths. My standard response goes something like this:
“Do you want to grow up to be under-employed the rest of your life? Do you want to end up in prison, on welfare, poor? Don’t go to school, don’t learn anything and that’s where you are headed. This is the only time in your life someone is going to give you something for free, that will last your entire life and you think you have something better to do? Now, I ask you again, why aren’t you in school?”
The responses are different – depending on how “hard” the kid thinks he is. One kid and his sister’s eyes got as big as dinner plates, and I think the message sank in, but to the delinquent kid that lives two doors down from me, that I accosted with his running buddy and their hoochie mama, I got the trash talk.
I called our Community Based Police officers, who quickly rounded the threesome up, and took the boys home.
Apparently, they’d been thrown out of Ruskin today for something. The girl, who was at least 4 years older- isn’t in school, yet. The cops threatened Mom with a curfew violation ticket, which can run up to $150. That should get her attention. Their Dad, if he’s not on the road- will thank me, and probably give them a whipping.
This is what the Dayton Public Schools has listed on their site:
Truancy Center Hot Line: 937-542-3228
Student Services Department: 937-542-3326
Delvin Terry, Director
Tobette Brown, Student Services Advisor
Sue Ackerman, Secretary
Senate Bill 181
Expands the definition of delinquent child to also include any child who meets one of the following criteria:
1. Habitual Truant
- 5 consecutive unexcused absences
- 7 unexcused absences in one month
- 12 unexcused absences in one school year.
2. Chronic Truant
- 7 consecutive unexcused absences
- 10 unexcused absences in one month
- 15 unexcused absences in one school year.
NOTE: Any youths found unruly are subject to intervention, treatment and community service sanctions. Youths found delinquent are subject to tougher sanctions including detention in the case of a violation of a valid court.
The City of Dayton Daytime Ordinance
On October 2, 2002, the city commission of Dayton ordained 137.13 School Attendance and Parental Supervision:
No child between the age of six and seventeen, inclusive, who is required to be in attendance at either a public, chartered, or private school or work or an alternative placement program, or who is under supervision or expulsion from a public, chartered, or private school or an alternative placement program, shall be on or about any public place or commercial premises within the City between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. or a regular school day.
via Truancy Law.
When I was growing up- walking the streets of my neighborhood wasn’t an option if you weren’t in school. If a neighbor saw me, my parents would get a call. If the cops saw us, we’d get picked up. Being this obvious wasn’t an option. The problem now is that everyone thinks it’s not their business or their problem. Not so. If these kids don’t go to school now, we’ll be paying for them for the rest our lives. Prison costs much more than a college education people- and that’s where this country has made some of it’s biggest mistakes- we can’t fix the things we broke when they were 12 or less. It just doesn’t get undone.
So, if you see kids walking the streets- call them out. If you don’t feel confident, call the truancy number above, or even 333-COPS (2677) in Dayton and see if they will do anything. Take pictures too, and hope like hell, we can get these kids back in school. In the long run, it’s much cheaper.