A friend of mine was having trouble with one of their children. He was cutting school. Attempts to make sure he attended were made but being a teenager, it was difficult to force him to do anything. My friend eventually received a notice to attend truancy court.
I have had to attend this court because of problems with my daughter attending school. The court listened to the type of living environment my daughter had and decided that there was no good reason she couldn’t attend school. There were no issues at home that would be a cause for her not to attend. They then informed her of the repercussions should she continue to skip school, and assigned her a probation officer. I was told to continue to monitor her as I had been and was not penalized for anything. My daughter understood the wake up call she had been given and had no further issues. My friend’s son was about the same age as my daughter had been and his behavior echoed hers. I assume this behavior is not unheard of when it comes to teens who are having some type of trouble with school. I am also glad they did not have this system in place when I was a teen because it would not have been fun to accompany my dad to a hearing about my school attendance.
My friend missed the hearing. There was no follow-up on that part but she did manage to get her son back on track and he just received an award for his performance in his classes. Problem solved, right? Not quite.She wasn’t even aware that it had gone to the level of a warrant being issued. Last week my friend received the following message –
Hi _____, My name is Matt, and I’m a Deputy with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. I’ll speak slowly because I know this is a Google number and it’s gonna be translated to a text message. I was at your family’s house yesterday in San Jose and you missed a court date. You need to take care of this, okay. You need to call me back (408) ***-****, Your family doesn’t need to continue to have cops come to their house looking for you. I spoke with one of your daughters. I spoke with your mother. I spoke with your sister. They all seem very nice but they are going to be continued to be harassed as cops keep coming to your house looking for you to handle your court date call me back. Bye.
First of all it wasn’t her house, it was her parents house and the guy who left the message should have been aware of that since he had spoken to her family members. She hadn’t lived there in years. Next, there is something that strikes me as wrong about admittedly continuing to harass people because of something a family member has done. The people who own the house have done nothing wrong yet they are being harassed. My friend has informed me the police also pressured her daughters to call her and “set up” a meeting so they could arrest her. The daughters refused to do it.
I’m not saying that the cops shouldn’t be looking for people who have arrest warrants out on them but for truancy? Even the cops who arrested her (in another county) had never heard of someone being arrested over a truancy case. But police are programmed to follow the law so they went looking for her. To go to her parents house makes sense, it would be the obvious place to start. Once they realized she didn’t live there then that’s where it should have stopped unless they had some reason to believe she was there but to harass people as a tool? Over an issue like this? The neighbors don’t know what it’s about they just know those people across the street have the cops at their house often, they must be troublemakers.
I can hear some of you saying ” She should have gone to her court date” I agree but there is something about the message that bothers me. It just doesn’t seem like it is a professional way of achieving your desired result. “Call me or we will continue to harass your family” Yea worse things have been done and the entire situation was created by one person’s lack of action but really, there are 7.44 million people who live in the bay area. Here is a map that shows the crime in that part of San Jose over the last 7 days.
Aren’t there better things to do than harass people in order to arrest a mother over a truancy issue from 4 years ago that has not been an issue since and isn’t one now? If they must get this type of criminal off the streets due to the threat they present to the public couldn’t it be done with a bit less harassment?