Parents Weigh in on Bryan Truancy Pilot Program

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

Nearly 1,800 truancy cases have been filed in the Bryan Independent School District over the last year and a half.

It's a problem the school district and the county are trying to do away with. The two are teaming up to bring a new pilot program that aims at keeping kids on track, by keeping track of them.

"They don't know what they're missing by not getting a good education," Brazos County Justice of the Peace Pct. 2, Place 2, Tommy Munoz said.

Munoz has been on a one man mission the past couple of months trying to find an innovative way to keep kids off the streets and in the classroom.

"In some instances when the child is not in school they're out breaking into homes, possibly hanging out where gang activity is," Munoz said.

The Brazos County Justice of the Peace has been hard at work trying to bring electronic monitoring devices to Bryan High and other schools in the district, for students who play hookie far to often.

"We're just going to try and see what it does, how it does, and it may not work here and it may be something that we need to get more," Munoz said. "Then we'll need to get more, but we'll just take it a day at a time."

In the beginning, Bryan schools will start off with just ten of the tracking devices that will be able to monitor students 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"There's always good with the bad," one parent said.

But some parents have mixed feelings on what kind of message it will send to students.

"I think it's a bad idea, it'll make them feel like they're in prison," Derrick Garrett said. "That's my idea of it."

"If parents aren't going to be a deterrent, somebody else has got to," another parent Brenda Brozell said.

But school officials say they're willing to try whatever it takes to make sure kids are getting the most out of their education.

"Hopefully this will be an instance where you start small and you won't need to do it anymore at all," David Young with Bryan ISD said.

The pilot program will cost about $20,000 for the first ten monitoring devices, and parents of truant students may have to foot that bill.

College Station ISD reports only about 100 truancy cases in their district and say they have no plans of implementing the truancy program.

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