Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Truancy Law Spreading Out In Rock River Valley

Rockford officials want more help from other towns.

Apparently CherryVale Mall just bugs the heck out of Rockford. They can't get their hooks on the kids skipping out and shopping next door in CherryVale Mall. Shopping?? I thought they were committing heinous crimes, vandalizing and creating mayhem and anarchy instead of going to school?! Ok, they could be doing something better than shopping, but the school's job is finding a way to keep them engaged in education. From the Rockford Register Star who like the ordinance:

CHERRY VALLEY -- Village police officers who find students playing hooky at, say, CherryVale Mall, would be able to return them to school under a curfew law Cherry Valley might enact next month.
If Cherry Valley returns Rockford students, do they get the money (fines) or does Rockford or do they both? Maybe no one does, but this seems like a money making venture in too many ways. Guess the kids will be busy not shopping, but paying fines and doing community service. But wait!?!! I thought the purpose was for the kids to be back in school. So confusing.
And if I was a taxpayer in the Boone-Winnebago Region, I'd be demanding my money back in paying the truant officers who are supposed to be doing the job (ยง 105 ILCS 5/26-3) the Rockford police officers now have.

The Rockford School District has established a truancy hot line to collect information, namely specific places where truants gather, and pass it along to the Police Department on a biweekly basis.
Very creeeepy.
CherryVale Mall and other teen hangouts outside Rockford's limits aren't subject to the city's ambitious law. So the curfew law will have more teeth, Rockford officials say, as more Rock River Valley towns follow suit.
Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey and District 205 Superintendent Dennis Thompson have touted the curfew law as a way to curb the district's 8.3 percent chronic truancy rate, which is four times the state average.
While ignoring the history of daytime curfew laws in municipalities such as Waukegan with their current 8.6% (district)/24.8% (9th grade center)/9.3% (Waukegan High School)chronic truancy rate. Daytime curfew there, since 1992?, has really worked like a charm.

Rockford's curfew law, which took effect Aug. 25, made it illegal for minors to be unsupervised in a public place during school hours.
Which is why every kid is under scrutiny whether they are truant or not. There is no "exception" for homeschoolers when they have to "prove" that they are homeschoolers. If they have to be stopped, then they have lost their freedoms to be out and about as a law abiding citizen.

Leaders in Loves Park and Machesney Park have yet to discuss the curfew issue, but Loves Park Police Chief Pat Carrigan thinks Rockford's curfew is a good idea.
Spreading the 'love'.

The Cherry Valley Village Board will cast a final vote on a proposed curfew law at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at Village Hall, 806 E. State St.

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