District Attorney Becton Announces Renewed Efforts to Combat Elementary School Truancy

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Martinez, Calif.Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton is asking every elementary school principal to partner with the District Attorney’s Office to reduce chronic absenteeism and truancy in our community. Last month a letter went out from District Attorney Becton to every elementary school principal announcing her personal commitment to address this challenge.

When a child misses school, it can lead to negative and lasting impacts on his or her development as a student and as a future member of our community.

“Research shows that when a child misses school they are far more likely at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system, both as victims and offenders. With the collaboration between my office and the educational system here in Contra Costa County, we can break this cycle by helping our students and their families keep our kids in school,” stated Diana Becton, District Attorney.

The State defines truancy as missing at least three unexcused full days of school or being absent for more than a 30 minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year. Students who are absent for any reason 10 percent or more of the school year are classified as chronically absent.

The District Attorney’s Office is announcing the following components to bolster efforts to reduce truancy and absenteeism in Contra Costa County at the elementary school level:

  • Meet the District Attorney! Throughout the school year District Attorney Diana Becton will visit elementary school campuses throughout the county to speak with students about the importance of attending school and staying on track.
  • In honor of Attendance Awareness month in September, District Attorney Becton and her staff will visit local schools to engage with students and read with them, discuss the importance of school attendance, and give special recognition to the students or grades with the best attendance record for the 2017/2018 school year.
  • A Deputy District Attorney will meet directly with parents to address barriers of attendance and promote the importance of school attendance for their children’s success. Staff will review with parents the resources available to them and offer services to those needing extra support to ensure their child can attend school.

“A child’s educational path and trajectory will only be successful if they are in school and their family receives the necessary support to ensure the same. Addressing elementary school truancy is critical to keeping our children and our communities safe. District Attorney Becton, Deputy District Attorney Laura Delehunt, and I will continue to develop policies and new partnerships to strengthen ways our office can put an end to the school to prison pipeline,” said Venus D. Johnson, Assistant District Attorney.

Resources:

Contra Costa County Office of Education: Every School Day Counts

https://www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/programs/for_educators/attendance_campaign

 

Attorney General Truancy Report:

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/tr/truancy_2016_en.pdf

 

Attorney General Truancy Toolkit for Parents, Teachers and Health Providers:

https://oag.ca.gov/truancy/toolkit

21 COMMENTS

  1. So now we have Diana Becton abusing the District Attorney’s Office to put out campaign rhetoric. She is making a disgrace out of the office. Their $100k a year PIO should know better. They must be worried they will both be out of a job when Paul Graves spanks them in June!

    • Graves is getting very little support is his run for DA, many believe – accurately – that he will get swamped at the polls in June. Many voters, including myself, are just thrilled we have our first women DA, Thsi was long overdue – the office was run for 167 year by men. East County voters, including myself, support diversity in all public jobs – the days of white male supremacy in public employment is long gone, thankfully. Fair is fair, all of us pay taxes, so all of us in the community should have a chance at public employment. While the county has been implementing diversity in public jobs for years, the big hold out was the DA’s office. The DA’s office was run – year after year – by white male golfers, country club types from Orinda, Moraga and Danville. The DA’s office did not reflect the community. Thankfully – with Becton in charge – that is changing, now all of those qualified got a shot at working at the DA’s office. Additionally, the anti-poor orientation of the office – which went on because all the bigwigs at the DA’s office lived in Danville and Orinda – is changing too. For the first time ever we have a DA that’s cares about East County, and West County, and Central County – no more is the DA’s the preserve of wealthy upper class types from Orinda and Moraga. The DA’s office belongs to all Contra Costa Clounty resdients! DA Diana Becton will be a fighter for all Contra Costa residents, which is a reason you are seeing her in the schools of east county fighting to steer kids back to school. Becton cares! I urge all voters to vote for Diana Becton in June.

      • Just to chime in, Graves has plenty of support, especially from Law Enforcement and plenty of elected leaders:

        https://paulgravesforda.com/endorsements

        Antioch Police Officers’ Association
        Brentwood Police Officers’ Association
        Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police Officers’ Association
        Clayton Police Officers’ Association
        Concord Police Officers’ Association
        Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
        Contra Costa County District Attorneys’ Association
        Contra Costa County District Attorney Investigators’ Association
        Contra Costa County Probation (CCCSO)
        Danville Police Department
        East Bay Regional Parks
        El Cerrito Police Association
        Hercules Police Officers’ Association
        Lafayete Police Department (CCCSO)
        Martinez Police Officers’ Association
        Moraga Police Officers’ Association
        National Asian and Pacific Islanders Prosecutors’ Association, Northern California Chapter
        Orinda Police Department (CCCSO)
        Oakley Police Officers’ Association
        Peace Officers’ Research Association (PORAC)
        Pleasant Hill Police Officers’ Association
        Pinole Police Employees’ Association
        Pittsburg Police Officers’ Association
        Richmond Police Officers’ Association
        San Pablo Police Employees’ Association
        San Ramon Police Officers’ Association
        United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230
        Walnut Creek Police Association

        • The above named groups strongly backed ex-DA Mark Peterson 4 years ago. As many are aware, Mark Peterson was arrested for embezzling ,he was prosecuted, and is now a convicted felon. Peterson was also disbarred from the practice of law last year. Some of the money Peterson was embezzling from his campaign accounts, I should mention, came from the above named police officer associations. Peterson also, apparently, embezzled money from Sheriff David Livingston.
          Amazingly, when it was revealed last year that Peterson was an embezzler the leaders of these police officer associations were completely silent on Peterson’s transgressions. So was Sheriff David Livingston. Many believe these police officer associations – and Sheriff David Livingston – were all set to endorse Mark Peterson for re-election – even after it came out he was an embezzler! You have to assume that because none of the POA leaders – or Sheriff Livingston – called for Peterson’s resignation when it was revealed he was an embezzler.
          8 years ago the same named groups above backed this candidate for DA, Dan O’Malley – who was a criminal lawyer that specialized in drunk driving cases. As many are aware, during that campaign local media outlets – including the East Bay Times and the East Bay Express wrote numerous stories about Dan O’Malley that seemed to suggest that candidate O’Malley – along with others in law enforcement – may have tried to set up a deputy DA in Martinez on a phony rape charge. Don’t know if this is true or not, but this contributed to candidate O’Malley – – heavily backed by the above named groups – being crushed at the polls.
          Anybody who examines the last two candidates for DA the above named groups supported – Mark Peterson and Dan O’Malley – can readily see these groups are not doing their homework on endorsements. The candidate they supported 4 years ago – embezzler Mark Peterson – is now a felon, and the candidate these police officer associations backed 8 years ago apparently barely escaped going to jail, if you believe that O’Malley and others conspired to set up somebody on a rape charge (a Judge may have thought this was the case- the judge threw out the rape charges filed against the deputy DA).
          I think a key reason why so many local leaders – like Superintendent Tom Torlakson Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Rep. Eric Swalwell and ex-Congressman George Miller, State Senator Bill Dodd, – are ignoring these police officer associations endorsement of Paul Graves – and instead endorsing our current DA Diana Becton – is linked to the unbelievably poor track record these POA’s have when it comes to endorsing candidates for DA. These police officers associations do not appear to be doing their homework, at all, obviously. Just look at the candidates they endorsed for DA the last two elections!
          But also, I think many local leaders are skeptical that Sheriff Livingston – or any of these police officer association leaders – would EVER endorse a women for Contra Costa DA. As many aware, a lot of working police officers do not believe women belong enforcement, so it’s likely – more likely than not – Becton’s gender is the key reason she hasn’t got any endorsements from police officers associations. I think many understand that police departments are a “bro culture ” and they also understand that few cops believe women belong in law enforcement, including Sheriff David Livingston , who goes out of his way to avoid hiring women deputy sheriffs at the sheriff department.
          How many times in the past have these police officers associations not endorsed a sitting Contra Costa County DA? In fact, that’s never happened in the past. When you factor in that these police officer associations – and David Livingston – were poised to endorse Mark Peterson for re-election – right up until Peterson was carted off in cuffs, you can kind of see why so many are ignoring the endorsements of these police officer associations. I mean they won’t endorse a women for DA – but they were A-Okay with endorsing Mark Peterson – even after it came out he was an embezzler. I think informed voters are giving zero weight to the endorsements of these police officers associations when it comes to the DA job, just look at their track record!

  2. That’s called parenting miss Diane. Take care of the real criminals on the streets they are everywhere you look.

    • Graves has failed to make a case why voters should replace District Attorney Becton, that’s why he’s been unable to pick up support from any Contra Costa leaders. Becton has done an outstandiong job in the year she has held the DA’s job. Rep Mark Desaulnier, former Rep. George Miller, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, Supervisor Federal Glover, Rep. Eric Swallwell, State Senator Bill Dodd, Supervisor John Gioa, along with countless other local, state, and federal leaders are solidly behind Becton for DA. So are almost all labor unions, such as the Nurses union, the SEIU, the teachers unions, almost all public employees unions, the Steamfitters, the Plumbers – Becton’s support among labor is just solid. The reason for this is because these leaders know Becton is tough on street crime, but also – she won’t hesitate to prosecute white collar crime too. And she is going to go after polluters too. Many voters, including myself, are just thrilled to see we have our first women DA, for 167 years the office was run by men. Hey, it’s the year 2018, not 1950. I have got daughters myself, I raised them to believe they could get any job they wanted, they just needed to work hard in school. It’s great to see the DA’s job – the top law enforcement job in our county – is now open to women, this was long, long overdue

  3. I’m not a supporter of Becton, but I get where she’s coming from. Kids that miss school are at risk of becoming juvenile delinquents and adult criminals. Keep your but in school and stay out of prison.

  4. Another example of interim DA Becton taking credit for a program someone else created, and using a taxpayer funded PIO to act as her campaign spokesman. I don’t know how she manages to talk about ethics with a straight face.

  5. Paul Graves supports the mass incarceration model of criminal justice – lock everybody you can in county jails and state prisons – at 78,000 per inmate – for as long as you can. That approach has been discredited completely. The money isn’t there to do this for starters, yet even if it was you have this revolving door thing, people are arrested, they go through the courts, and then on to jail – it costs astronomical amounts of money to process these repeat offenders through the criminal justice system. On top of that, after they do their prison sentences they come out even worse than they were, prisons are incubators for gangs.
    Becton’s approach is smarter, we need to take steps early on to try and prevent young people from becoming involved in the criminal justice system. Kids that don’t study and skip classes are the types that wind up in the criminal justice system, so if you address this early on you will see less crime. I agree wholeheartedly with Becton parents, educators, and students need to get together and work on crime. prevention.

  6. Paul Graves supports criminals being held accountable. I am a member of a local POA and support Paul’s efforts to combat crime. It’s easy, nearly all POA’s support Graves and none support Becton. Do you want police to deal with school truancy (something the school districts should deal with) or getting the thieves and violent criminals off the streets??? Again, that should be an easy decision.

    • These police associations backing Graves have become the laughing stock of Northern California politics. They keep backing criminal types for DA (see Mark Peterson) Voters are sitting back and saying, “Well that candidate was endorsed by all the police officer groups, so it’s likely he will be arrested and carted off in cuffs soon”. These POA leaders have no credibility whatsoever! Pathetic. Do your homework POA leaders, you have become a joke.

  7. These police associations backing Graves have become the laughing stock of Northern California politics. They keep backing criminal types for DA (see Mark Peterson) Voters are sitting back and saying, “Well that candidate was endorsed by all the police officer groups, so it’s likely he will be arrested and carted off in cuffs soon”. These POA leaders have no credibility whatsoever! Pathetic. Do your homework POA leaders, you have become a joke.

  8. I think these police officers associations that are endorsing Paul Graves fall under the category of lots of laughs. The last candidate for DA these POA’s endorsed – Mark Peterson – embezzled money from the police officer associations! Peterson asked the police officer associations for campaign contributions – Sherrif Livnigston too (He gave Peterson 1650 dollars), after Petersons get’s the money he uses the money to take vacations, buy expensive designer clothes – including 300 dollar pairs of shoes, and he also used the money to take his pals out to Ruth Chris Steak House in Walnut Creek! Laughably, Peterson did not even have an opponent when he ran 4 years ago. The CoCo County DA’s office was a cesspool of corruption during the Mark Peterson-Paul Graves era, which is why the appointment of former Superior Court Judge Diana Becton to the DA’s job was the right choice, at the right time in history. She is cleaning up the mess Peterson and Graves made of the DA’s office. It’s a new day at the DA’s office.

  9. “Research shows that when a child misses school they are far more likely at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system, both as victims and offenders.”

    It took research to figure this out? LOL wow, no wonder this Country is going to shit!

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