Mercer County West Virginia begins truancy crackdown

PRINCETON, W.Va. (AP) - The Mercer County Board of Education is
taking chronically truant students and some parents to court as
part of a new program aimed at reducing truancy in its schools.

Mercer County Circuit Court Judge Omar Aboulhosn says that the board
has filed 52 status offender petitions. Twenty abuse and neglect
petitions also have been filed.

Hearings will be held Jan. 17 and Jan. 19.

Juvenile petitions are filed when a student has more than five
unexcused absences during the school year.

A truant student could be referred to the Department of Health
and Human Resources or placed on probation as a status offender. A
case plan also will be developed.

The board also has hired a probation officer who will work
solely on truancy cases.

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