Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 2, 2013

Truancy crackdown: Unexcused absentees still declining


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — A little more than a year after it was launched, Mercer County’s new truancy program continues to make a significant difference when it comes to keeping children in school.

According to Circuit Court Judge Omar Aboulhosn, the number of truant students in Mercer County Schools has declined between 15 to 20 percent since the new truancy program was first launched in 2012. At the moment the county has about 200 active cases of truancy between status offenders and abuse and neglect cases, according to Aboulhosn.

The welcomed partnership between the school system, judicial system and Department of Health and Human Resources is helping to reduce incidences of truancy countywide.

The decline in truancy rates for Mercer County schools is welcomed news. The ultimate goal of the truancy program is simple — keep kids in school.

A student with a high school diploma is much more likely to avoid falling into a cycle of poverty and crime. That’s why we must strive to keep students in the classroom.