Truancy Deterring Initiative

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FREEPORT (WIFR)-- The Freeport School District is in its second year of a district-wide initiative to prevent truancy and show the negative effects of chronic truancy, and now a group of local businesses is pitching in to help combat the problem.

The business owners involved in this effort say they wanted to get involved after seeing kids out of classes during school hours, and in some cases shoplifting from downtown stores.

So now, more signs are popping up at businesses in downtown Freeport that say ,"Are you skipping school? Then skip this place!" meaning kids who are out of school aren't welcome. Business owners with the signs say they want to encourage kids to get back to class, and while they want business, the don't want it at the expense of education.

"When you see kids that aren’t in school, it bothers you and it bothered me,” said business owner Patrick Sellers.

"So I started this initiative. It starts at home and I wanted to start here in Freeport.”

“We’re falling behind in math and science and we need to start with the basics and the basics is get the kind sin school,” Sellers added.

In the next few weeks, the Freeport School District is planning to put up community wide billboards that are aimed at raising awareness about the impact of skipping school.

So far, about half a dozen businesses have posted the anti-truancy signs. If you'd like one for your business, you can call 815-541-3432, or email to receive your free sign.

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