Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Today, in a first-of-its-kind in the county, law enforcement arrested five parents for allowing their children to be chronically truant despite repeated warnings from the schools and police, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) office
These parent truancy arrests were conducted by the Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership (GRIP) teams from the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Orange Police Department, Orange County Sheriff's Department, and Orange County Probation Department. GRIP is a law enforcement partnership that identifies at-risk youth and aims to increase school attendance and decrease gang activity.
All arrests were made in the morning after the defendants' children had been taken to school. The defendants were booked into the Orange County Jail and released on their own recognizance prior to the end of the school day to ensure that no child would be left without proper childcare.
The defendants, scheduled to be arraigned June 7, 2011 include Alice and her husband Ayman Haddadin who have a middle school student in the Capistrano Unified School District. By April 2011, the defendants' child had accumulated 12 unexcused absences during the current school year. Beginning in December 2010, Ayman and Alice Haddadin were sent four separate notices by the school and school district requesting contact and setting up a meeting to discuss the attendance problem. The defendants are accused of failing to respond or attend the meeting. The defendants are accused of having additional knowledge that their son had attendance problems because the minor was subject to GRIP truancy sweeps in January 2010 and 2011 and the parents were advised that they could be prosecuted for continuing to fail to have their child attend school. Ayman and Alice Haddadin are accused of allowing their child to have attendance problems dating back three school years.
Other defendants are Porfirio Ascencio and Natividad Arteaga who have a middle school student in the Orange Unified School District. The defendants' are accused of failing to enroll their child in the middle school for the first three weeks of the school year. By May 2011, the defendants' child had accumulated 10 unexcused absences and 28 late arrivals. The defendants are accused of having knowledge that their child had attendance problems by completing an attendance review board meeting, where they were informed about State attendance laws. They are accused of having a separate personal meeting with a police officer, who advised the defendants that their child's continued attendance problems could result in prosecution of the parents.
Claudia Diaz Perez has an elementary school student in the Magnolia School District. By May 2011, the defendant's child had accumulated 30 absences during the school year, eight of which were unexcused and the remaining were sick days that were not justified with a doctor's note. Perez is accused of having knowledge that her child had attendance problems because she has met multiple times with a teacher from the school regarding the issue and has had personal contact with a police officer regarding her child's attendance. Perez is accused of allowing her son to have attendance and tardiness problems going back to the 2nd grade