CRC in the news: Truancy ticket campaign attracts community media attention

The practice of handing out truancy tickets at Los Angeles schools and the Community Rights Campaign's fight against this criminalization of student behavior have attracted media attention lately, most notably in CityWatch.  Since then the story has continued picking up steam in various community media.

USC journalism student Catherine Cloutier put together a multimedia package about the CRC and the impact that truancy tickets have on Los Angeles students. She includes a timeline of CRC's actions.

"Between 2004 and 2009, the Los Angeles School Police Department gave out 13,118 citations, summons, and/or tickets, according to Community Rights Campaign data. The Los Angeles Police Department dispensed nearly 34,000 tickets betwen 2004 and 2007. In theory, the law penalizes habitual truant students. In reality, it punishes tardy students."

The Black Radio Network covers the CRC in a piece about the ways in which the district's truancy policy targets students of color.

"Educators and law enforcement officials regard truancy as a “gateway” activity for juveniles that can lead to a life of crime. [...] Activists charge that the practice of issuing the tickets criminalizes students’ behavior and brings them into unnecessary contact with law enforcement. Groups such as the Community Rights Campaign (CRC) also charge that the practice creates a financial burden for students’ families and in many instances discourages youth from attending school altogether. This unfairly punishes the school district’s Black and Brown students, they said.

The Home Education Magazine writes about a La Opinion piece that addresses how truancy tickets lead to students staying home instead of risking costly fines.

"Criminalize kids early and often? What’s next? Truancy – the new gateway crime? While this effort may generate short term statistical ‘success’, it is a jaw droppingly wrong headed, counter-productive way to treat kids."