Daytime curfew keeps kids off streets

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - Ken Kippenbrock spent part of Monday briefing Covington Police officers on the city's newest ordinance, a daytime curfew for all students, which went into effect January 2, 2012.

It allows Covington Police to arrest children found to be truant during school hours.  Officers would also have the options of then returning the students to school, returning them to their parents custody if the student is not allowed back into school, citing the student and/or the parents to court, and arresting the student and even possibly the parents if they are complicit in the truancy.  The charge would be a misdemeanor.

Kippenbrock is the Director of Pupil Personnel for the Covington School District which enrolls about 4,000 students.  He says truancy brings with it a host of problems and has domino-like effects long past a student's school days.

"Educators know they can't teach students who are not in school.  Police know that students who are truant may end up committing crimes.  And those students who drop out of school almost always spent time skipping class," Kippenbrock said.

He's been working on getting this ordinance written and passed for years.

"It will be a game-changer for the community in terms of keeping kids off the streets during the day, and in school on the road to graduation during the school year," he said.

Covington Police officers were given the information on each and every school, including parochial schools, in Covington, what its dismissal times are, and what days students are off.  Before, police had few alternatives when they found students cutting class.

"If a student was skipping during the day police had no real legal authority to stop that student, detain them, ask them why they weren't in school," Kippenbrock says.

Kippenbrock, who is also a deputy sheriff with the Kenton County Sheriff's Department, says the city of Newport, KY has had a similar daytime curfew in place for the last decade, with good results.  Daytime crimes dropped, and students are more likely to graduate.  It's a trend Covington leaders hope to see move to their city in 2012.

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