Merced CA- Over fifteen parents have been arrested for failing to send their children to school since the program started over 2 months ago. The District Attorney’s office and the County Office of Education launched a new truancy prevention program in August in which a District Attorney Investigator has been assigned to work exclusively with Merced County School Districts to ensure that children are regularly attending school. The cost of the new program is being shared by the District Attorney’s office, the Merced County Office of Education, and the school districts, Morse said.
The sweep on August 30th was only the first, Morse said. “Countless studies have shown that students who are chronically absent from school fall behind their classmates and are at greater risk of dropping out of school. Similar studies show that high school dropouts are at least eight times more likely to be in jail or prison. They also earn less money, pay fewer taxes and are more likely to collect welfare. We fail our children, we fail public safety and we fail our communities if we do not do everything in our power to see that kids graduate from high school,” Morse said, adding that more sweeps would follow.
The 10 parents arrested on August 30th, 2017 were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor. Nancy Benitez, 42, Ana Luzania, 34, Rosalind Hardin, 46, Jose Gonzales, 45, Ana Salas, 43, Bernadette Thomas, 45, Vanessa Montufar, 32, Fabiola Higareda, 44, and Jennifer Villa, all of Merced, were all taken directly to court by the arresting officer and arraigned before Merced County Superior Court Judge Mark Bacciarini. Kristen Jacobs, 35, was booked into Merced County jail and held overnight.
The most recent arrest’s this month were charged on Monday November 13th,2017 with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Esmeralda Saldana, 40, and Cesar Saldana, 46, both of Merced; Ann Ornelas, 34, and Michael Perez, 33, both of Winton Billie Breniak, 43, and Lonita Robertson, 47, of Merced,Ruby Santos, 32, and Jose Rubio,30, both of Los Banos.
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