Birmingham judge plans to crack down on truancy

Birmingham judge plans to crack down on truancy

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A Birmingham family court judge is looking to crack down on truancy in city schools.

Last week, Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring announced more than 50 percent of 22 schools received the F score.

Attendance is a key part of the evaluation. Herring says she needs parents to turn that around.

"I don't put that responsibility on parents alone but we have to have our parents engaged and insure our children are present," Herring said.

Jefferson County Family Court Judge Raymond Chambliss is not surprised by the low grade.

"I don't put a child not coming to school on any teacher or member of the school board. I put the blame where it belongs Mr. Collins on the parent," Chambliss said.

Chambliss is working with the Jefferson County District Attorney's office to set up an early warning system to let the student and their parents know they have to attend class. If the child doesn't go school,then they will refer them over her to a program.

We have to warn the parent and child, they will be charged with truancy," Chambliss said.

Chambliss says a bill in the legislature will mandate that the school board has to show it has done all it can to get a child in the classroom.

The judge says if they can get a child in school, other social problems will go away.

"Ignorance is killing, stealing, breaking into folks house, just plain ordinary ignorance," Chambliss said.

Judge Chambliss is in the process of setting up a new building for various programs for the parents and their children to attend and hopefully correct the truancy problem.

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