Judge Asks State to Clarify Scope of Anti-Truancy Law

A Superior Court judge has asked the state attorney general to determine if Monrovia's anti-truancy law applies to all children or only those in public schools.

The request by Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl came after she denied motions asking her to rule on the law's constitutionality. The law allows police officers to detain youths between the ages of 12 and 17 who are in a public place between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on school days.

Parents of students who are taught at home or in private schools filed suit last April, arguing that the curfew is unconstitutional and that police officers have harassed their children by stopping them on the streets.

But attorneys for the city argued that the law does not apply to private school students and none have been cited, and that therefore the suit has no legal basis.

Kuhl said the attorney general's office must resolve that question before any consideration can be given to the constitutionality issues. The judge has canceled a trial on the case that was scheduled for next month.

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