The Oak Ridge Police Department, Anderson County District Attorney General’s Office, and Oak Ridge Schools have started investigating juveniles with unexcused absences from school during the 2015-2016 school year, officials said Friday.
“This process involves seeking petitions for truancy for those students who were absent for significant periods of time,” a City of Oak Ridge press release said.
The petitions will be submitted with the Anderson County Juvenile Court for remediation, the press release said. The 15 petitions were the start of an ongoing investigation, and officials anticipate that additional juvenile petitions will be filed.
“As part of this investigation, ORPD will also be investigating additional allegations of educational neglect, and when warranted, will seek petitions in (Anderson County General) Sessions Court against parents of students with a high number of unexcused absences from school during the 2015-2016 school year,” the release said.
The investigation is ongoing and involves juveniles, so no further information will be released at this time, the release said.
With regard to the start of this investigation, ORPD Chief Jim Akagi said: “ORPD is committed to working with General Dave Clark and Superintendent Bruce Borchers with getting children back into school. It is a sad state of affairs when parents do not assist with ensuring their children attend their classes. Statistics bear out the fact that children who are absent from school are more likely to engage in delinquent acts, have difficulty in obtaining work, have lower earnings potential, and have a higher probability of participating in criminal behavior as adults. This department will do everything they can to give these children a chance at succeeding in life by getting them into school.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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