Truancy sweep - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Truancy sweep

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  • Lack of psychiatrists hits mental health patients

    Lack of psychiatrists hits mental health patients

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:55 AM EDT2014-04-19 13:55:06 GMT
    A nationwide shortage of psychiatrists is forcing many mentally ill Indiana patients to wait months for an appointment.The Health Resources and Services Administration reports more than half the state's counties have a shortage of mental health professionals. The Journal Courier has found there is just one psychiatrist for every 57,585 residents in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties.The shortage stems in part from low reimbursement rates by insurance companies. A private psychiatrist will m...More >>
    A nationwide shortage of psychiatrists is forcing many mentally ill Indiana patients to wait months for an appointment.The Health Resources and Services Administration reports more than half the state's counties have a shortage of mental health professionals. The Journal Courier has found there is just one psychiatrist for every 57,585 residents in Tippecanoe and surrounding counties.The shortage stems in part from low reimbursement rates by insurance companies. A private psychiatrist will m...More >>
  • Gap between Indiana wages, living costs grows

    Gap between Indiana wages, living costs grows

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-19 13:35:47 GMT
    Indiana workers' pay didn't keep pace with inflation last year, and economic experts say the state needs to focus more on the quality of jobs instead of the quantity to close the distance.Hoosier workers saw a mere 0.8 percent increase in pay last year. But federal data released this month show inflation grew 1.4 percent in the Midwest.Business leaders tell the Indianapolis Business Journal (http://bit.ly/1hVKISa ) that a high number of job seekers has allowed many employers to hold down wage...More >>
    Indiana workers' pay didn't keep pace with inflation last year, and economic experts say the state needs to focus more on the quality of jobs instead of the quantity to close the distance.Hoosier workers saw a mere 0.8 percent increase in pay last year. But federal data released this month show inflation grew 1.4 percent in the Midwest.Business leaders tell the Indianapolis Business Journal (http://bit.ly/1hVKISa ) that a high number of job seekers has allowed many employers to hold down wage...More >>
  • A fantastic weekend on tap

    A fantastic weekend on tap

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:13 AM EDT2014-04-19 11:13:13 GMT
    A spectacular weekend is on tap as dry weather dominants and the warming trend continues. An area of high pressure will slowly move over Quebec this weekend bringing central Indiana sunny skies and lightMore >>
    A spectacular weekend is on tap as dry weather dominants and the warming trend continues.
    More >>

Rich Van Wyk/Education Reporter

Indianapolis, Oct. 27 - It wasn't at all difficult finding kids running the streets when they should be in school. City and school police are trying to control what they call a truancy epidemic.

Some students don't know the meaning of the word. "Truancy, what's that?"

It's more serious than cutting school. Thursday's effort involved dozens of officers.

Indianapolis Police Chief Michael Spears says it is about cutting crime. "We have a lot of young people involved in crime that's violent. We want to do every thing we can to reduce that."

Instead of targeting specific neighborhoods, this year police truancy sweeps cover the entire Indianapolis Public School district and involve numerous agencies.

Students meet with police, school social workers, probation officers and even a truancy judge.

Most have been in trouble before with juvenile records and terrible school attendance.

IPS Police Officer Jamie Taylor says, "Weeks, sometimes months, they haven't been in school."

Social worker Tracyey Kappel says the parents and guardians aren't surprised to get a phone call. "Grandma's had enough. She's refusing to pick up her grandson."

Booker Taylor is not happy about leaving work to pick up his eighth grader. "I'm angry with my son. He knows he's supposed to be in school instead of on these bad streets. I'm angry with him."

Truancy Commissioner Kelly Rota-Autry counseled students and parents, attempting to scare them back to school. "Some of these kids may be getting the message this time. That's my hope, some of these kids get the message."

Truancy laws are so weak, officials say there is little else they can do.

That may change. The courts are looking at new ways of holding parents accountable in the most severe truancy cases, having families supervised by child welfare and perhaps even moving the child to a foster care family.

Failure to ensure an education is a class B misdemeanor. It is cumbersome to prosecute in a crowded court and jail system.

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