There is no doubt student truancy in the public schools in California has reached an epidemic level. As a former prosecutor serving as a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice, I saw first hand the criminal history of countless individuals as part of my caseload. In the past three decades I have been in private practice and one of my areas of focus has been criminal defense; the same patterns have been the same and in some ways have become worse.Such individuals have many similarities, but there was and continues to be a common thread that frequently starts in elementary school.

Although not a psychologist, I have personally had enough cases in which I have utilized forensic experts to know that deviant &/or improper conduct and behavior is often an individual’s effort to cry out for help. Without intervention when an individual evinces trouble, the problem will likely escalate; it can start with a simple infraction, but often escalates to misdemeanor crimes and even felonies. While there is no substitute for loving parental guidance, it is also true that everyone needs and benefits from having personal goals; the importance of achieving even little steps towards realizing them cannot be overstated.

Whether one gets into trouble in the classroom, on the playground, comes late to school or is truant, it starts at a very young age. While many focus on the financial aspects in that schools lose money when students do not attend class, the child and society are hurt much more.We spend far too much money at the other end of the spectrum having to incarcerate than we should to educate.