Guthrie police to begin issuing truancy citations to parents

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GUTHRIE, Okla. – A new city ordinance will now allow Guthrie police officers to issue tickets to parents after their child has a certain number of absences.

A new truancy city ordinance is aiming to end chronic absenteeism in Guthrie.

"It's kind of strange to talk about issuing a situation and feeling good about it," Sgt. Anthony Gibbs, with the Guthrie Police Department, told News 4.

It may sound strange but in this case, it makes sense because Gibbs said it’s all about keeping kids in school.

"As soon as the child reaches a certain number of absences, the school calls. Then if there are more absences, the school resource officer will call," Gibbs said.

If those calls are ignored by the child’s parent, it’ll cost them with fines ranging from $50 to $250, plus court costs, depending on the number of offenses.

It’s part of a new city ordinance that now allows officers to issue parents a ticket without having to wait for the charge to go through the district attorney’s office first.

"If we can get a child into school, studies show that literacy goes through the roof, whether or not they're going to be in jail later on, whether or not they're going to be able to hold down a job,” Gibbs said.

Both police and Guthrie residents think it’ll help motivate parents to get their kids to school.

"I think the parents that do need the motivation should get it so that our children can receive the education they need. Think it's a great idea," Raymond Robinson told News 4.

"Everybody needs a little help, a little motivation. Children are our future and that's the education that they need to get," William Lord said.

Once the officer writes the ticket, it’ll be up to the municipal court to decide the punishment if the parent is found guilty.

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