17-year-old cited for truancy loses case
A 17-year-old Grass Valley boy who contested a citation for cutting school lost his case before a Nevada County Superior Court judge Wednesday.
The boy was fined $76 under Grass Valley’s truancy ordinance, which allows police officers to cite youngsters ages 6 to 17 caught cutting school. Wednesday’s hearing was closed to the public.
The youth can avoid paying the fine by doing 12 hours of community service.
The boy was cited for truancy and trespassing May 2, 2001, at the Condon Park skatepark, which was then under construction.
The boy claimed he was a student at Wolf Creek School’s home-school program at the time and should not have been cited for truancy. The ordinance does not apply to youths who receive home- or private-school instruction, study under a qualified tutor, or are otherwise exempt from the state’s compulsory- or continuing-education laws.
Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster said Wednesday the boy was enrolled at Silver Springs High School when he was arrested and did not become a student at Wolf Creek High until October 2001. The police officer who cited him called the school and verified the information, Foster said.
Wolf Creek students are in the public school arena and not exempt from the city’s truancy ordinance, Foster said.
“Independent home study (students) through the school district are not exempt from the truancy ordinance, and they sign an agreement that they are to be at home during school hours unless they have business to take care of,” Foster said.
Either way, the boy was in violation of the truancy ordinance, he said.
After the hearing, the boy’s mother said her son was being transferred from Silver Springs High School to the home-school program at Wolf Creek High when he was cited.
Under the ordinance, minors under age 18 have to be in school from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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