Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Past truancy efforts paying off as school attendance rising in EBR

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BATON ROUGE - Truancy numbers are steadily declining after a major crackdown on the problem over the last five years.

Officials with Baton Rouge Police Department and Family & Youth Services Center say they're seeing more kids attending school than years past.

"Kids attendance rates are going up every year, and I think it's due to that process we went through with the DA's office, the school board, and holding the parents accountable," says Corporal Kyle Hill with BRPD.

In 2013, law enforcement held a "round-up" where parents were taken into custody for their child's unexcused absences. Those efforts from law enforcement, EBRSO, the district attorney's, and the family youth services center are now paying off as school attendance is up at 95 percent. 

"We kind of expected with the flood that our truancy numbers would go up, but they continue to go down. So I think that the message is getting out there and the law is 10 unexcused absences," says Director Roxson Welch with the Family & Youth Service Center.

The Family & Youth Service Center sits in downtown Baton Rouge and it's a non-profit organization that assists in supporting families and children in successfully navigating through school.

The director says this is not just a place for troubled kids, but children all over the parish can come and get involved in activities such as fashion design and broadcasting.

"As a community, we need to make certain that every child achieves their own personal best so they can grow up and be the best person they can be," says Welch.

Parents can be charged with negligence if their child has missed more than 10 days in school, and the children could be subject to repeating a grade.


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