Federal probe targets how Dallas County handles truants

By DIANA HEIDGERD
Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) - A civil rights investigation targets whether Dallas County has been too tough on students who skip school and sometimes end up handcuffed and in court.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday announced the investigation into Dallas County, its juvenile courts and due process for truant children.

County Judge Clay Jenkins says the county will fully cooperate and remains committed to giving every student their best chance at staying in school and graduating.

Some advocacy groups in 2013 filed a complaint alleging Dallas-area public schools are too harsh with truancy.

Texas law includes a charge of failure to attend school. A preliminary DOJ review indicates Dallas County prosecuted approximately 20,000 failure to attend school cases last year.

The review will also focus on the judicial process for children with disabilities.

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