|For Immediate Release
April 18, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
SIX PARENTS ARRESTED ON CRIMINAL CHARGES FOR PUTTING SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN AT RISK BY ALLOWING CHRONIC TRUANCY DESPITE SCHOOL AND LAW ENFORCEMENT WARNINGS
*Pool video is available to the media from ABC7 (English) and KMEX Univision 34 (Spanish) and pool still photographs are available from the Orange County Register
SANTA ANA – Law enforcement arrested six parents today for allowing their children to be chronically truant despite repeated warnings from the schools and police. California law requires school-aged children to be enrolled in and attend school and failure to comply with the law can result in juvenile court proceedings for the child or criminal prosecution of the parent(s). The defendants in this case are each charged with one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one misdemeanor count of failure to reasonably supervise or encourage school attendance. If convicted, each defendant faces a sentence ranging from probation up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines. The defendants’ arraignment dates are to be determined.
These parent truancy arrests were conducted by the Orange County Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership (OC GRIP) teams from the Buena Park Police Department, Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Orange County Probation Department, Orange Police Department, Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD), and Santa Ana Unified School District Police Department. OC GRIP is a law enforcement partnership that identifies at-risk youth and aims to increase school attendance and decrease gang activity.
All arrests were made in the morning after the defendants’ children had been taken to school. The defendants were booked into the Orange County Jail and released on their own recognizance prior to the end of the school day to ensure that no child would be left without proper childcare.
Defendant Toya Latrice Daniels
Daniels, 38, has an elementary school student at James A. Whitaker Elementary School in Buena Park. As of March 2013, the student had accumulated 17 unexcused absences. The school principal referred the student to OC GRIP because of a history of unexcused absences, dating back to kindergarten, and lack of parent involvement in requiring and encouraging school attendance.
A number of resources were made available to Daniels and her student including parenting classes, parent counseling and support services through the OC GRIP case manager, a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, a teacher mentor, monthly meeting with a law enforcement officer, OC GRIP meetings to address the attendance issues, an after school homework and care program, and support services and follow-up through the OC GRIP case manager. The school district provided notice of the truancy issue and opportunities to help resolve the problem. The defendant is accused of failing to attend any of the meetings or utilize any of the many resources made available to her and her student.