Cops drag truant students out of bed
News Limited newspapers | September 01, 2009
* Several students taken from bed to school
* Police, retailers, schools involved
* Irresponsible parents the next target
STUDENTS wagging class have been hauled out of bed and carted off to school in police cars in a crackdown on truancy in a southern Queensland city.The students were last week among 63 truants picked up by police and returned to Park Ridge and Browns Plains high schools, located in Logan City.
Ten officers on horses, trail bikes and bicycles and two Logan City Council park rangers were involved in Operation Chrome, The Logan-West Leader revealed today. Browns Plains officer in charge Senior Sergeant Andrew Dupere said apart from the 63 students “bludging” school, officers spoke to a further 100 wandering the streets during several hours.
“Several of the 63 were roused from their beds and taken to school,” Sgt Dupere said.
Police copped “a bit of stick” from some students, but many were simply shocked, he said.
“They’d never had a police officer turn up at their house and drag them out of bed and take them to school."
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The operation had been a partnership between police, Grand Plaza Shopping Centre retailers who declined to serve students in uniform unless they had a current leave pass, and the two high schools. Park Ridge High deputy principal Deb Day said truancy had been an issue, but the rate had been cut by 80 per cent in the two months since the appointment of a student attendance officer.
She said now only a handful or less than 0.5 per cent of students were regular truants. Ms Day said it was important the school worked with police to reduce absenteeism.
“Those 63 children came from a number of schools - they didn’t just come back to us,” she said.
Sgt Dupere said the partnership was formed following an increase in break and enters and truancy.
“Most of the break and enters were occurring in school hours and 70 per cent of all break and enters in the Browns Plains’ division involved school-age children or those in school uniform,’’ he said.
Sgt Dupere said he was not singling out any school, but police were working with the two schools to combat truancy which would hopefully reduce minor crime.
He said the truancy campaign would continue for 12 to 18 months.
“If the same kids are picked up again for truancy then enforcement action will start to be taken against their parents."
Read more at The Logan-West Leader - http://logan-west-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/truants-pulled-out-of-bed-and-in-to-class/