Daytime Curfew Ordinance Showing Results

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

"Last year, it was a huge problem. This year, it's not a huge problem," Becky McLester said.

In recent years, Stop-N-Go employee Becky McLester would see it all; groups of Rockford kids skipping school, hanging out and up to no good. But now those kids are gone, and she credits the daytime curfew ordinance.

"There's not the amount of kids down here asking for cigarettes, because that was the worst thing we had, because we had to call the cops all the time," McLester said.

Five months after the new law went into effect, Rockford superintendent Dr. Dennis Thompson shares that same optimism - especially in cracking down on students playing hooky in and around Charles Street.

"I think we are off to a good start at the school that had our highest truancy rate last year - East high school - is going tremendously well there," Thompson said.

Another tool in helping cut down truant teen numbers comes from the phones, thanks to a new truancy hotline.

"We're able to get direct contact with that police officer; it's usually a matter of minutes before they arrive to pick up a student. People give a sighting that they know a student is supposed to be in school and they're not. That's working tremendously," Thompson said.

Meanwhile, McLester is thankful she's seeing results - and fewer kids during school hours.
"I loved it. I wish they had it when my kids were in school, but mine are out. Oh yeah, I support it 100 percent," McLester said.

Rockford's superintendent says through January, police recorded around 240 truancy citations. Any offender caught skipping must make a court appearance with a parent.

If you see students skipping school, Rockford's truancy hotline is (815) 966-5252.


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