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Monday, 11 January 2016 08:31

Parents of Truant Students Invited to Church

MEMPHIS – January 11, 2016 - Parents of more than 100 school students with habitual truancy in the last school year are being invited to visit Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Monday (Jan. 11) to resolve court-related issues, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
The parents have pending court summonses that have not yet been served on them, but that can be addressed at the church in Operation Safe Serve between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the church at 2634 Carnes Ave.
“No one is going to jail,” said Megan Pietrowski, program coordinator of the DA’s Mentoring Based Truancy Reduction Program. “This will be a safe environment.”
Under the law, parents whose children have five days of unexcused absences can be found guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
“We don’t want to fill the jails,” said Gen. Weirich. “We want to fill the classrooms.”
Parents will be placed on the General Sessions 15 court docket where a remedy plan will be outlined.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Fugitive Squad has summonses pending for parents of 117 truant Shelby County School students who are in one of the 14 schools participating in the DA’s Truancy Reduction Program.
Those parents have received several robocalls with pre-recorded messages informing them of their truancy-related status and Monday’s Safe Surrender option.
The DA’s Mentoring Base Truancy Reduction Program is an intervention plan that includes matching truant students with advocates and mentors to promote class attendance and good behavior.
Volunteer mentors for the plan are recruited from local businesses, churches and civic organizations and are screened through a rigorous background check. Mentors commit to work with the student for at least one year providing encouragement, support and outings away from school.
More than 4,000 students have been referred to the program since it began in the 2006-2007 school year.For more information contact Program Coordinator Pietrowski at 222-1395.