Over the next two weeks, students in several school districts who missed an initial court appearance for truancy will be pulled out of class and brought to Judge Rogelio Lopez Jr.'s courtroom.

If there's a child flat-out skipping just to skip, you're not going to get a second chance, said Judge Lopez, who serves as justice of the peace for Precinct 4 in Bexar County.

Bexar County has one of the highest high school dropout rates in all of Texas, and Judge Lopez says he has often seen truancy lead to more serious crimes.

Parents are also being held accountable by the courts.

A summons may be issued requiring a parent to accompany his or her child to court.

If the parent doesn't show up, a warrant is issued for his or her arrest.

Truancy and parent contributing to non-attendance are both Class C misdemeanors, punishable by up to a $500 fine for every day of school missed.

Students with three or more unexcused absences in a four week period are considered truant.

Judge Lopez says the issue is so prevalent in his precinct, most schools don't alert his court until a student has missed 10 or more days in a six-month period.

Most of the students who appeared in court Tuesday were given community service and mandatory tutoring.

Judge Lopez only issued a handful of fines.

What good would that do? asked Judge Lopez. The parent ends up paying it anyways.

The truancy round-up will continue through Wednesday of next week in parts of Judson ISD, East Central ISD and San Antonio ISD.

Read or Share this story: