City of Edinburg Cracking Down on Truancy
Like many cities in the upper valley Edinburg is cracking down on truancy.
"Parents need to know that its their responsibility. The parents are going to be held accountable and responsible to get their kids to school, " says Officer Balde Gomez.
In an effort to keep kids focused on school and off the streets Police have enforced a curfew.
Teenagers under the age of 17 need to be home by 10 pm on weekdays and at midnight on the weekends.
Gomez says, "It's a tool used by police to keep the kids out of the streets. It's a tool we ask citizens to use. if they ever see children or kids under the age of 16 out on the roadway please report them to us."
After several warnings teenagers and their parents may end up facing the judge.
They may also face fines of up to $500 and hours of community service.
The edinburg municipal court handles up to 1,000 truancy cases a week. For almost 20 years Judge Toribio Palacios has handled thousands of different cases. Dealing with truancy is something very new.
He says, "Every kid that comes in front of me with truancy is a different person. You just got to try to listen and see what type of situation they're in and try to be, and try to do the right thing."
Judge Palacios says truancy cases are difficult but he learns something new with every case...
He does what he can to help.
He adds, "We try to monitor, we try to get them in good programs, we offer counseling but that's all we can do for them."
Judge Palacios says there's so much the city can do and agrees its up to the parents to point their kids in the right direction.
If you are having problems with your child and are in need of assistance the Edinburg Police Dept is available to help at (956) 383-7411.