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Police On Lookout for Truant Teens

Police On Lookout for Truant Teens

Posted - Nov. 21, 2003 at 4:50 p.m.



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Karen Scullin ReportingPolice are cracking down on kids skipping class at East High School. Neighbors have been complaining that students who should be in class are instead spending time in their yards and on their porches.

Yesterday morning police targeted kids skipping class and cited 23 students for truancy. Douglas Street, just across the street from East High, is one of the streets that has seen some real problems with truant kids lately.

Complaints range from smoking in the yards and on the front porches, to just loitering, to a lot more. The worst time of the day for truancy seems to be between nine and eleven in the morning. The kids just seem to collect in the areas immediately surrounding the high school.

Neighbors say most of the East High kids are good kids, but those students skipping class seem to cause quite a bit of trouble. In fact the neighbors we spoke to were afraid of retaliation if they put their face on camera.

Neighbor: "Sometimes they've been known to run down our driveways and run through our yards when they're being chased by friends."

Neighbor: "It's disconcerting when you find a kid in your back yard doing something inappropriate."

Detective Kevin Joiner, Salt Lake City Police: “There's a direct correlation in crime whenever you have truant kids."

Police say they plan to keep up their efforts to battle truancy, adding that 23 truant kids was a quite a few to get in a short time. The spokesperson for the school says he supports the police and can use all the help they can get.

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