Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
STUDENTS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
CELEBRATE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE IN
ANTI-GANG EFFORT TO KEEP KIDS IN
THE CLASSROOM AND OFF THE STREETS
ANAHEIM – In an ongoing gang prevention effort by the Anaheim Police Department (APD) and Orange County District Attorney’s Office, an attendance celebration will be held next week to reward students with perfect attendance at two Anaheim schools. The event, intended to reinforce positive school attendance and keep kids out of gangs, will feature law enforcement stations, demonstrations, opportunity drawings, and food. The attendance celebration will be held on Monday, June 9, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. on the shared field at Olive Street and Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools in Anaheim. Media are invited to attend.
This celebration follows the Truancy Interventions conducted March 5 and 12, 2008, in which 81 students at four local elementary schools with excessive truancy problems were identified and counseled on the importance of school attendance. After the Truancy Interventions, the principals at each of the four schools announced that any student from that day until the end of the year with no late arrivals or unexcused absences would be invited to attend an attendance party on campus. Each school has seen a dramatic increase in overall attendance and in the attendance of students included in the truancy interventions.
On Monday, Olive Street and Thomas Jefferson Elementary School students with perfect attendance will be invited to participate in an attendance celebration on the field shared by the two schools. The Anaheim Police Department will provide students with the opportunity to visit law enforcement stations including Canine Units, SWAT, Mounted Units, Safe Schools Unit, Gang Unit, and a police helicopter. Anaheim Police Chief John Welter and Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas will attend to meet and congratulate the students. Representatives from the Anaheim City Fire Department and United States Marine Corp will also be present. The White House restaurant in Anaheim is sponsoring the event and the Horace Mann Corporation has donated 16 bikes to raffle for students with perfect attendance.
On June 4, 2008, 590 students from Robert Pyles and Esther Walter Elementary Schools participated in similar attendance celebration events at their respective schools. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department featured Canine Units, SWAT, Mounted Units, and a helicopter, and the Orange County Fire Authority and Pearl of Wisdom Kempo Karate Club attended the event. The Stanton City Council provided lunch for the students and the Horace Mann Corporation donated 16 bikes to be raffled off to students with perfect attendance.
“We realize the need to reach young people who are most at risk at the earliest opportunity. Supporting youth in our elementary schools will give them the skills and knowledge necessary to make good choices while they still have a chance,” said APD Chief John Welter. “We are proud to contribute to a safer community by encouraging and rewarding children for going to school and getting an education.”
“Truancy is the number one indicator that children will get involved with gangs. Keeping kids in school is imperative in keeping kids out of gangs and off the streets,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “This celebration is a way to reward young students for their positive behavior and attendance, and we hope the long-lasting rewards will continue to been seen as law enforcement agencies, schools, and parents, work together to keep kids out of gangs.”