The 17-member task force formed last November to examine how truancy cases are handled in Hamilton County released its report today to Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw and schools Superintendent Rick Smith.
The report criticizes loopholes in the system that allow parents and children to fall through, widespread differences in who tracks truancy, how it is tracked and how a truancy case reaches, or doesn't, the court system.
Members highlight parents who "exploit gaps in the system" and simple problems such as an inaccurate student home address creating huge hurdles for school and court staff in assisting truant students and parents.
Nine of the task force members are from the department of education, four from the juvenile court and one each from the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, Hamilton County District Attorney's Office, Chattanooga Police Department and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.
For more see Thursday's Times Free Press.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...