A former city school trustee and county supervisor said there are too many children roaming the streets instead of sitting in the classrooms.
Herman Leach appeared before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday with his concerns surrounding the city’s truancy laws.
“I see quite frequently kids all over the neighborhood who don’t go to school,” he said. “They are at home all day, every day. I don’t see anyone checking on them, and I don’t know why.”
Leach said the students absent from school frequently never return.
“If they are not going to school now, they won’t be going next year,” Leach said. “As they grow, some older children will sooner or later take advantage of these children.”
Leach said this is where the cycle takes the wrong direction.
“They (the older children) will have them doing exactly what they want them to do,” Leach said. “That is the start of gangs. We had a bad situation a few years ago with gangs. We still have some of them, but they may not be operating as gangs. They are more like gangsters now.”
Mayor Diane Delaware said the city council cannot speak on the matter during the board’s public comment section (a board policy). But she said she is listening.
“We don’t engage in conversation during this period,” Delaware said. “However, what we do is take what you say listen and we will come back to you and answer any questions you may have. We will take that under consideration.”