Layton Students to Face Fines for Skipping School

Layton Students to Face Fines for Skipping School

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Sandra Yi ReportingSkipping school will soon come with a hefty price tag in Layton. The city plans to enforce a new daytime curfew to curb truancy, starting next month.

Administrators there say a lot of kids cut class. In fact, when KSL got there this morning, we talked to some students who said they were skipping class. Under the new ordinance those kids would have been ticketed 50 to 100 dollars.

Jake Adams, High School Student: "A lot of people just go out to eat, or if you're going to cut just go to someone's house and hang out for a while."

Students admit cutting class is common. Now Layton City plans to teach kids it doesn't pay to play hookey.

Det. Blake Haycock, Layton City Police Dept.: "We'd like to see kids get their education. And if we can keep them here in school, we think they're going to have a better chance in succeeding in life."

Next month the city will begin to enforce a new daytime curfew. Students caught skipping school will get a 50 dollar ticket. Citations for second offenders will double to 100 dollars.

Mike Evans, Assistant Principal, Northridge H.S.: "Truancy's a big problem. Not just here, but everywhere that I know of. Kids are finding ways to miss class and we're chasing them down."

Schools like Northridge have truancy policies. First time offenders are given warnings, followed by a small fine. Habitual ditchers are referred to juvenile court. But administrators say the new ordinance is tougher.

Mike Evans, Assistant Principal, Northridge H.S: "It's a bigger sting than what we're able to put into when we catch up with them."

And the push will be a community effort. Local businesses plan to report kids who spend more time there than in the classroom.

Michelle Gearhart, Manager, Tasty's: "We have some that would come here in the morning and they just sit here all day long, and when the classes end at 3 o'clock, they would leave."

Still, students have mixed reactions. They say whether or not the new ordinance will keep their peers in schools remains to be seen.

Jake Adams, High School Student: "I think if kids are going to ditch class, they're going to ditch anyways."

Derek Burr: "It'll probably get me going to class more than I have. I mean, I don't want a hundred dollar fine."

The new ordinance goes into effect December 1. There are exceptions. For example, students who are with their parents or have an emergency wouldn't be ticketed.

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