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Proposed Cache truancy law receives both support and skepticism

September 26th, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Kara Kawakami

LOGAN- The Truancy For Minors ordinance proposed by Cache County Council was embraced by some and rejected by others in a public hearing Tuesday.

Councilwoman Kathy Robinson reviewed the proposal, saying that there are at least four other cities in Cache County with variations on the daytime curfew. The daytime curfew would help cut back on crime and enhance the ability of law enforcement officers to keep kids in school. The curfew is aimed at getting children back into class quickly, keeping them at school and reducing crime due to truant minors, Robinson said.

Gail B. Yost, who holds a doctorate in adolescence, said she was “speaking to her expertise as well as her experiences” as she voiced her support of the curfew. Not many teens have a full sense of responsibility until 25 years old, which is the end of adolescence. “I know that it works, teens need clear boundaries,” Yost said.

Holly Gunther of North Logan did not support the ordinance, saying that it ignores the growing number of home-schooled students and is restrictive to other nontraditional students. While the original intent behind the ordinance was to help, it would instead harm the nontraditional students who are also pursuing their educations, Gunther said.

Cache County Sheriff Sgt. Mitch Frost supported the ordinance, saying that as far as he has seen, it would not be detrimental to home-schooled students, instead it is a great benefit, he said.

“We’re not out there Nazi style,” Frost said.

Councilman Cory Yeates expressed concern, saying, “As you can tell, I’m real critical of this.”

Councilman Gordon A. Zilles said that he sees the truancy problem more for the board of education and as a family problem. “I hate to see us spending all of our time chasing juveniles.” Zilles said.

Other law enforcement officers as well as educators voiced support for the daytime cufew.

The ordinance will be voted upon at the Cache County Council Meeting on Oct. 13.

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