The Daytona Police Chief wants local educators to start making calls when a student goes missing from class. But he wants the call to come to his office, not to the students’ parents.
“Detectives complain repeatedly about kids – some as young as 8 – stealing anything that’s not nailed down and avoiding arrest because the juvenile detention facility will not take youths unless they’re accused of a violent offense,” the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported. “Many young people in trouble here are truants, the chief said, and getting a handle on when students are ditching class gives officers and detectives a step up to prevent crime.”
Daytona school officials estimate that a total of 172 middle and high school students were habitually skipping classes. Studies have shown that most inmates who are serving long jail sentences committed their first crimes when they were truants.