It is unlawful for any minor under the age of eighteen years, who is subject to compulsory education, to be or remain in or upon public streets, highway, roads, alleys, parks, playgrounds, or other public grounds, public places, public buildings, places of amusement and eating places, vacant lots or an unsupervised place during the hours for which the minor is normally assigned to his/her school on school day. Truant minors may be returned to the school site, and, if necessary, the minor’s parents may be cited under the provisions of current law.
The San Bernardino District Police Department has been offering services to the public school district with the help of the District Attorney’s Office, working with schools to get children back in class.
Truancy is often a “gateway” to juvenile delinquency, and a lifetime of crime. The community, too, is negatively impacted by truancy. Truancy is also expensive and taxpayers who are left paying the bill.
The mission of the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) is to provide every student with a quality of education that will equip students for entry into the world of work or for post-secondary education. To accomplish this mission, students must attend school daily and fully participate in the District's educational program. Therefore, the District will support and enforce the following California Education compulsory education laws.
California Education Code 48260 requires that all children between the ages of five and eighteen to attend school. This code also classifies a student as truant if the student is absent from school three full days, or tardy by more than 30 minutes, and is without a valid excuse during the school year.
California Education Code 48260.5 states that once the student meets the truant criteria, the school district must notify the parent, by the first class mail or some other reasonable means of the following:
That the pupil is truant.
That the parent or guardian is obligated to compel the attendance of the pupil at school.
That parents or guardians who fail to meet this obligation may be guilty of an infraction and subject to prosecution.
That alternative education programs are available in the District.
That the parent or guardian has the right to meet with appropriate school personnel to discuss solutions to the pupil's truancy.
That the pupil may be subject to prosecution under Section 48264.
That the pupil may be subject to suspension, restriction, or delay of pupil's driving privilege pursuant to Section 13202.7 of the Vehicle Code.
That it is recommended that the parent or guardian accompany the pupil to school and attend classes for one day.
California Education Code 48293(a) states that any parent or guardian having control or charge of any student who fails to comply with compulsory attendance, unless excused or exempted, is guilty of an infraction and shall be punished as follows:
Upon a first conviction, by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100).
Upon a second conviction, by a fine of not more than two hundred and fifty dollars ($250).
Upon a third or subsequent conviction, if the person has willfully refused to comply with the section, by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500).
In lieu of imposing the fines prescribed in paragraphs 1, 2, and 3, the court may order the person to be placed in a parent education and counseling program.
The Truancy School Police Project coordinates with other city and county agencies to address the truancy problem for the San Bernardino City Unified School District. Through these partnerships, the department’s program is enhanced and the school district is better served. Because truancy is a problem where everyone loses, it is critical that we all work together to resolve it. Due to the truancy program, the San Bernardino city Unified School District Police Department makes this possible.