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Oceanside Police Want Parents to Pay When Kids Play Hooky

The Oceanside Police Department wants to get the attention of parents whose kids play hooky. It has asked the City Council to adopt a law that would let police to issue fines to the parents of students who are truant. KPBS Reporter Alan Ray has the story.

Under state law, truant students can be taken into custody by police, then taken home or to school. But the Oceanside plan would allow police to issue citations with $250 fines when school-age kids are caught alone in public during school hours.

The North County Times reports the Oceanside School Superintendent Larry Perondi calls it "an excellent idea." The American Civil Liberties Union says it's not sure.

Superintendent Perondi says a fine might be just what's needed to get parents' attention and get the kids back in class.

A report to the City Council from the police department says police are confident that daytime crime in Oceanside would drop significantly if the proposal becomes law.

Other cities in San Diego already have similar laws.They include Escondido, Poway and San Marcos.

The City Council will review the proposed ordinance on Wednesday.

Alan Ray, KPBS News.

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