The Water Cooler – Billing Parents for Police Services When Kids Cut School

March 13, 2013 12:00 pm · 77 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

Today in Concord, three Olympic High School students cut school and ran in several directions when the Concord Police became involved. The incident tied up police and school administration for about an hour.

Should the parents of students who cut school (at any school) be billed for incidents like this when police become involved?

Talk about it….

TIME March 13, 2013 at 12:03 PM

People need to start being accountable for their kids again! Kids these days are horrible. The first thing parents do now is say “not my sweet baby” When I was a kid and I am only 36 my parents and others would say “What did he do” I never wanted to get in trouble with any adult fearing my parents. Now kids have their parents backing them up.

Absolutely March 13, 2013 at 12:03 PM

If you can breed, you should be responsible for them!

Me March 13, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Absolutely! Especially with so many cuts to the police budgets. Make em pay!

Huskerfan March 13, 2013 at 12:07 PM

YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It would help the CPD budget!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ken March 13, 2013 at 12:08 PM

They should be billed and if they don’t pay be hauled away to jail.

Listen March 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Absolutely, parents should b responsible for their child’s behavior as it’s a reflection of their parenting, or I should say, lack thereof.

F'n Boot March 13, 2013 at 12:12 PM

I wouldn’t really say it would be appropriate to bill parents. these kids are grown enough to know better, they’ve made their choice in lifestyle, you want to cut school and tie up police resources looking for your dumb ass, you should be billed, not the parents, its your choice, your responsibility. for example, most students that come from Olympic HS come from lower income families, I should know, I went there briefly, enough said about that. Billing parents would put more financial stress on some families that could already be strained. Not a good idea if you ask me.

Blah Blah blah March 13, 2013 at 12:15 PM

um No. My dad drove me to school everyday and I still ditched. some times the parent cannot do it sorry but at 16 to 18 your making your own choices not your parents. My Dad is an amazing parent and man but I had to work out my own issues my self not him he couldn’t. My Mom made my younger years horrible and by the teens hit I went fully nuts.

Howard K. Mullins III March 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM

It would be great if parents could be charged with the misconduct of their children, but legally, how can that be done?

When parents have had to pay for their child’s misconduct, or have had to serve time with their child, child misconduct had diminished. Those programs were found not legal and ceased.

Liberal legal influence does more to punish victims than the criminal. In this case, the cost of these young thugs malfeasance is born by the public. If the pubic does not feel the need to complain, then there is no complaint.

Anon March 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM

You are correct! As a teacher that is the current attitude of today’s kids and parents. I see it every day and it is why the teaching profession has such a high burn out rate. I have seen many wonderful teachers leave because of the parent’s actions/attitude towards school.

Kirkwood March 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Remember the Concord PD truancy roundup a couple of decades ago? Police picked several dozen kids off the streets, took them to Centre Concord, fingerprinted them and called their parents. Although the public mildly supported the action, the affected parents were outraged.

Bill March 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Good luck with that.. BTW, where is the money going?? Is this a School district thing or a County thing?? If it’s the latter will they be charging Richmond parents, or Pittsburg parents?? The COCOCounty DA tried this crap last year in San Ramon, blatant attempt to get more revenue from the wealthier areas of the County!! If the students are 18 they have the right to do what they want. So, how will the police determine who is a student -vs- an 18 or 19 year old just walking down the street?? Lastly, why on earth would the police spend time chasing down cutting kids?? let thew school deal with it and move on to real crimes!!

Triple Canopy March 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Parents should be billed anytime their kids cut school or otherwise cause damage.

Are they not responsible for the consequences of their child’s behavior???

Concordian March 13, 2013 at 12:34 PM

While it sounds like a good idea to bill the parents… I’d suggest making the kids do community service. We all know there’s a lot of work to do in this town so we may as well maximize our resources… It should have to be a Saturday too.

dilligafman March 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

YES!! why should my tax dollars go to it when i don’t have any kids?

J. March 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM

No, the kids should have to do detention and/or community-service.

Anon777 March 13, 2013 at 12:38 PM

HELL YES and when they catch the kids, take them to juvie and make the parents come pick them up.

Incognito March 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Absolutely – bill the parents.

@TIME #1,
I agree with you 100%.
As a child, I never questioned authority, my parents authority, that is. What they said goes. No, meant no, etc., Parents are being “played” so much it’s embarrassing to watch.

Rebel March 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

The teenagers caught ditching by Police should have to work off the bill by performing Community Service. The kids need to learn that they alone are responsible for their behavior. The parents of these teens are probably frustrated as it is; having your child attend a Continuation School is no fun for anybody involved. These parents are probably having a hard time controling their kids, so the last thing they need is to have to pay everytime their child screws up.

Sister Sebastian March 13, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Make the kids work if off with Community service cleaning up Schools.
Fine them and put them in counseling and extra classes.

Mac March 13, 2013 at 12:47 PM

This would be great if it were a wake up call to the parents to watch over their kids better..
But i think a great number of these kids would not have parents at home that could pay these cost.
Then what would you do ?
It`s not like you would be dealing with level headed adults.
Because if they were, their kids would be acting better. (in most cases)

I agree with “TIME” kids are just not held accountable when they get home (now a days) and when you are not, this crap happens.
So why do you think any of that would change by charging them anything.

I think it`s better to have the kids work it off, working for the city.
Cleaning up the city, and doing tasks that need to be done. (painting, weeding, garbage pick up…etc)
That way they can`t get out of it, by saying “We have no money to pay”

Well.. March 13, 2013 at 12:54 PM

if a child is under the age of 18, the parents are legally and finacially responsible for their children.

JW March 13, 2013 at 12:54 PM

It is kind of a tough call. Sure, we can say bill the parents but what if the kid does not obey regardless? What if the parent is doing everything that they can (legally) to discipline their child but yet the kid is giving in to peer pressure? Another factor involved is, what if the kid is being harassed at school and they are afraid to tell their parents because of the expectations that have been instilled in them. An example would be a dad that was a super jock in high school and his kid just doesn’t show the same machismo. So, the kid gets bullied by kids that are just like his father. The kid is ashamed because of false expectations and decides just not to go. Parents should definitely be involved in a kids life. I started 5 minutes after my sons were born and I would like to say that they will do no harm but I was also a boy once and I know that the picture that I have of how they will be is probably not how they will be. However I am one of those guys that is not afraid to dicipline. There is no easy solution. Yeah, we could bill parents but it might do nothing. We could also make schools teach the values that are expected of them in society but then people will complain that those values aren’t their values. We could institute a time card system in schools where kids need to clock in enough hours to go to the next level but then people would complain about freedom. Ah the joys of modern society. Anyway, some quick thoughts.

Sunnymoon March 13, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Bill ’em! Then have the kids work and pay parents back. They will learn eventually.

Mike March 13, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Does anyone at Olympic go to school on a regular basis? It’s the give me a diploma school for the district.

J March 13, 2013 at 1:02 PM

On a case by case basis would be ideal

Jorge March 13, 2013 at 1:11 PM

No. This is a horrible idea. These kids and their parents are already paying for the ‘services’ of the police. We do not need to incentivize the police to do the job they should be doing in the first place.

Besides, the police sent the entire force (including a helicopter) when a pair of jeans was stolen… what sort of response will they send when they know they won’t have to pay for it?

kingsvtsis March 13, 2013 at 1:19 PM

I totally believe that parents should be held 100% accountable for what their minor children do. Parents who don’t and won’t discipline their children and raise them properly when they are little CANNOT control them when they are older. Things are not going to get any better until we get back to taking responsibility for what we bring into this world. @Blah Blah Blah – most teenagers push the limits. I did. My kids did. The difference is that my parents and myself, when there was trouble, supported the school and the law 1000%. Myself and my children grew up to be responsible adults. Lower or middle class, doesn’t matter. I was raised by a single mom in a very poor household. Raised my kids in a lower middle class household. You can still teach your kids respect and responsiblity and if you don’t then you should be held acountable until they can be held accountable. It always goes back to the parents. The same parents that wouldn’t pay a fine would not be able to make the kid do community service.

PuhLease March 13, 2013 at 1:20 PM

#5 your a tool send the. parents to jail over the kids mistakes? WOW! It should never have taken an hour period that’s just ignorant. Parents should be held accountable to an extent but fines only create more stress in the home. Surprise surprise these Claycordians want to invoke charged to the parents they have obviously never dealt with such problems.

SanDee March 13, 2013 at 1:22 PM

I’m with you on this. The child should be held responsible for his/her actions.
If you punish just the parents, it sends a message to the child that someone else will be held responsible.
Problem solved, with the parents money.

MotherOf3 March 13, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I do not understand why the police are involved at all. This is between the kids, their parents, and the schools. If the police had not decided to chase those teens, they wouldn’t have needed to bill their time. For the most part, I was a pretty rule-abiding teenager back in the 90’s. I did skip class a few times though… just to hang out with friends, chatting on the grass or running to McDonald’s. It was a thrilling experience, it didn’t really negatively affect anyone, and I just do not understand why it should be criminalized to be a teenager. Obviously, if laws are being broken, that’s another issue, but that is covered by regular police action.

Unless we view schools as daytime prisons, police should not be involved.

MissKay March 13, 2013 at 1:24 PM

I don’t think billing the PARENTS is the way to go. That is just ridiculus. I ditched school all the time simply because I hated school. And if my mom was billed for it, it would have only put her further into debt. I was old enough to realize that what I was doing was wrong and I accepted the punishments when I was caught. Parents can’t control everything their children do.

KJ March 13, 2013 at 1:24 PM

The kids should pay. They have already demonstrated that they don’t care about their parents or they wouldn’t be misbehaving in the first place, so making the parents suffer is unlikely to affect the behavior of the kids.

Make them do community service.

mike mac March 13, 2013 at 1:27 PM

No. The kids should be responsible for their actions. Perhaps not billing them, but making them work off time at school or public service.

Sacto Rob March 13, 2013 at 1:28 PM

It’s a valid suggestion, but practically speaking you would never collect enough money to pay the costs of administering the effort. By the time kids are high school age, if they’re out ditching school you’re not going to change anything by going after the parents. That ship has sailed.

Scott March 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

I think community service for the kids involved would be more appropriate…The parents can’t control this, it is not reasonable for them to walk their child to class hand in hand. Sure if the kid is a problem the parents should do something about it but regardless of what they do They cannot keep an eye on their kids all day at school.

Bill'em March 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM

I’m for sending the parents the bill AND for allowing the kids to work off some of the costs via Community Service. The BS about low income families and already struggling – tough. You had the kid, you can afford to fund their mistakes. Raise the kids to be respectful, stay in school, progress to the point where they’re not sitting outside Home Depot looking for cash jobs.

Bill March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

@dilligafman, Why should you pay for roads and bridges if you don’t drive?? Firemen and police if you don’t have emergencies? Why pay for a Military if you don’t believe in war?? Why should Churches and charities not pay their fair share of taxes?? You pay because we live in a civilized society, without which ignorant people who think the way you do would all be victims of Social Darwinism!

CatWoman March 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Absolutely–the parents should take responsibility for what their kids.

Mr. John March 13, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Yes. You hold both the kids and the parents responsible. When a kid skips school, both the kid and the parent have failed.

Blah Blah blah March 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM


My point is my dad did everything in his power besides sending me to military school to get me in school. It didn’t work. Should he pay for my mistakes NO. My friend had me call her out of school daily. Her mom both dropped her off at 8 am and picked her up at 3pm daily trying to stop her cutting too. We found ways. We were bad girls our parents did all they could besides sitting in class with us and trust me I was threatened with it. The kids should pay not the parents.

anon March 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM

I’m sure their parents are hard wroking upstanding citizens and would gladly write a check to reimburse the city for this.

The Closer March 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Community service is in order for these losers. Make them scrub the urine off the hot concret at the Bel Air Shopping Center.

anon March 13, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Yes and the parents should have to go to school with them.

anon March 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Sure, it’s always the fault of the parents.

The government insists on compulsory education laws and taxes everyone in order to lavishly fund its school system. If it can’t do the job of keeping kids in class, maybe the parents ought to be billing the school system for not doing the job it claims to be able to do. They sure aren’t getting what they pay for and they have no choice but to pay for it.

Or, get rid of the government run system entirely.

Absolutely March 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM

The idea of community service for truants’ families that can’t afford to pay for the reimbursement costs is a good one.

anonanonagain March 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I agree with Concordian. Make the kids work off their truancies. If they still choose to cut school, then you could go to phase 2 and punish the parents. The parents may not give a rats about their kids or could care less about them finishing and getting an education. Unfortunately these dimwits will be a drain on society in the future as well…….

CatWoman March 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

do. 🙂

Kirkwood March 13, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Both the administrator and police are doing the jobs for which they were hired and already being paid. The state pays the school district per diem for each enrolled student and if the student doesn’t show up, that money is withheld. The district should be able to bill parents for any losses to the district, this means everything, truancy, vandalism, etc. Of course collecting is another thing.

TOB March 13, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Those who say make the kids pay the bill or work it off community service.. Hello… Can’t get them to go to school you really think they will show up for community service? If you believe this you may have kids cutting classes as we speak while you say not my kid.. Sheeze..

Make the parents pay. “Let them collect from their kids making them do various chores, maybe sell off their PS3 or Xbox.”

Kids are not mature enough to attend class, they darn sure not going to show up for service work nor will it do anything to change their attitude. Parents involvement in making their kids work off the debt they paid and embarrassment they brought upon their parents, that would be far more effective punishment.

...Then what happens if the parents don't pay? March 13, 2013 at 2:14 PM

My first thought was yes, but then I couldn’t figure out how it would work. What if the parents didn’t or couldn’t pay? Would the police not get involved the next time?

I think it’s good for parents to be given incentive, and for the police to be reimbursed, but I can’t figure out how this would work, in reality.

And actually I think the kids should have to pay for their poor decisions. They need to learn there are consequences.

kingsvtsis March 13, 2013 at 2:26 PM

@BlahBlahBlah – You sound exactly like me in high school. My mom dropped me off every morning on her way to work and as soon as she drove off I got on a bus and went home to party. My point was that I was raised to be respectful and responsible. I also went nuts as a teen ager. Got into lots of trouble. But when it came right down to it, if my mom had been forced to pay, I believe I would have straightened up I eventually came back to my senses. I believe there are so many kids who haven’t been taught responsiblity and respect and there is NO WAY of getting them back on track. Parents who have never taken control over their kids won’t pay fines, make them do comunity service, support them or raise their children. We will. By the way, you write very intelligently so it appears that your parents hard work did pay off.

Definitely March 13, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Yes. Definitely. Parents should pay for police services and any repairs associated bad kid behavior of their child as well whether it be cutting school, graffitti, speeding, stealing cars, shoplifting, burglarizing, making any injured parties whole, etc. The should pay for ALL court fees as well — Any and ALL costs associated with their poorly behaved kid(s).

Carla March 13, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Wow, what is wrong with everyone? Everyone just wants to punish the parents for EVERYTHING. We live in a society that has given kids the upper hand when dealing with discipline. I used to get the wooden spoon , get grounded or what not when I acted up as a kid but now days parent’s can’t discipline their kid because nosy neighbor decides it’s better to call the cops saying they’re beating their kid…then the parent goes off to jail. I know numerous parent’s where their own kids threaten them with calling the cops or telling someone at school that the parent’s beat them. Kids know this and will say anything to get get their way and they really don’t understand what their selfish actions can cause to their parent….going to jail, legal fees, fines, loss of job, etc. I don’t think the parent’s should be billed at all, what does that teach the kid about their own actions? Absolutely nothing. Make them do community service or detention. Make them take responsibility for their actions and not just push everything on the parent. Some kids are just problem kids no matter what the parent does. This is part of the reason I may never have kids…parent’s aren’t allowed to discipline kids without the threat of going to jail and having to pay for all the consequences of a rebellious teenager.

Anon March 13, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Why were the police involved? Of course I will read the other comments to see if that was asked and answered but back in the day, we cut all the time and the police did nothing about it.

No, the parents shouldn’t be billed because that isn’t gong to teach the kids anything but the kids should have to do community service.

Mr Pink March 13, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Why are cops chasing down kids that are cutting school? Seems like a waste of time and money. If they want to be stupid let them. The world needs [INSERT MINIMUM WAGE PAYING DEAD-END JOB HERE] too.

Mr Pink March 13, 2013 at 2:52 PM

And I agree with Carla.

Marty McFly March 13, 2013 at 2:57 PM

I would go back in time to make sure the parents of these kids didn’t kiss at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.

NRA #1 fan and member March 13, 2013 at 3:12 PM

If you agree to this then the thugs and thieves who tie up police resources should pay the lazy cops salaried instead of taxpayers.

I will also need to be reimbursed diesel fuel for patrols as I do make the streets of Claycord safer. $200 for 4 hours includes diesel / truck maintenance sounds about right.

mike mac March 13, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Boy, most of the writers are firm “law and order” types. Perhaps we stone the kids and burn down the family home. That way, we will dissuade truants and push bad families out of the area. Oh yeah, we should institute formal laws similar to those in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

D March 13, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I think Jorge #27 was about the only one that said it. Were the police not on duty already being paid? Did they have to call in reinforcements or something? Why were the police even involved? What was the administration doing? The kids deserve to be disciplined for breaking the rules/law. I just can’t understand why this would tie anybody up for about an hour. Simple solution, when they come back to school they receive their punishment whether that’s detention, community service, or whatever the school deems appropriate.

Dorothy March 13, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Are parents no longer responsible for what their kids do? Let the parent know that if their kid cause the school and the police extra expense because they are cutting school, then the parent will be billed for that. Then make sure the kids know they are costing the parents a fine and that the kids are responsible for that.

Mimi (original) March 13, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Imposing community service on the truants is a reasonable consequence for ditching school. Fining the parents is not. The person who commits the wrong should be the one who rights it.

ctown March 13, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Isn’t Olympic a last resort for troubled teens? Stupid is as stupid does.

Rob March 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM

How about making the kids do significant “community service” – perhaps wash the floors the police department by hand and clean puke off the walls and floor after drunks are released.

Calendar Girl March 13, 2013 at 4:19 PM

It’s too bad they don’t make the kids clean up the continuation school bathrooms, but they can’t. That job, unfortunately, falls to the custodians who work the night shifts.

What a load of bull**** March 13, 2013 at 6:01 PM

You folks need to listen to what you’re saying. You pay a buttload in taxes (at least I do) so that you can have police services and now you think it’s ok for them to charge extra when they actually have to do their job?

What next? The guy who got beaten up will have to pay for the police response because his momma didn’t teach him not to wear blue? Or maybe charge momma? If your house gets burglarized, should you have to pay the police to come out and take a report because you should have known better than to live in a bad neighborhood?

The police don’t cost more when they’re on a call than when they’re idle. It’s absurd to expect us to pay for them, then pay more when we actually have a need for them.

Momma Nona March 13, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Why not? It’s a waste of valuable time, just like the people call in and lie that their kids were abducted or something stupid. These little jerks don’t want to go to school, put their butts to work. Maybe even sentence some community service instead of parents paying, start power washing the sidewalks that smell like hot piss.

Strad March 13, 2013 at 7:23 PM


@ TOB March 13, 2013 at 7:28 PM

“Those who say make the kids pay the bill or work it off community service.. Hello… Can’t get them to go to school you really think they will show up for community service?”

There will be stipulations of course!!! If they don’t show up for working their required service then you haul them off to Juvee. Consequences for their ineptitude. Some of these same kids are breaking into homes while you are at work. You want to just ignore the problem? This is not set in stone. It’s a forum to chat, to get ideas. See what the public may have to add to a growing problem…….

God help us! March 13, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Anon is a teacher ? God help us!
I’ve read your crap, but thanks , now
I understand how kids come out of school
so screwed up.

Teacher March 13, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Parents are responsible for their children until the child is 18 years old. When did parent loose control and not be held accountable for their children simply because they child is 16 years old. Hold the parents responsible. The childrens behavior is a reflection on the parents parenting skills or lack of. Hold them accountable.

Subterfuge March 13, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Wtf? Why was CPD chasing down high school kids for cutting school? End the police state now!

Anderson March 13, 2013 at 9:58 PM

#67 “What a load…” is absolutely correct. Taxes are collected to pay for the services provided by federal, state and local governments; if there are shortfalls in police funding that is entirely the fault of those public officials responsible for managing such funding.

While parents of errant teens should in some way be held responsible for their childrens’ actions, clearly more so than they are in some cases, there shouldn’t be any extra charges for police services which already have been paid for.

a March 14, 2013 at 2:25 AM

Only if any taxes I pay that go to law enforcement are cut.

Nicmo March 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Was there any legal ramifications for David Rosen’s parents? Should he have been in school during all the alleged incidences?

Mika March 14, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Can you charge them if they are on free and reduced lunch? That little caveat gets them off the hook for all kinds of stuff working stiff families have to pay. If they don’t want to go to school and flee from authorities, LET THEM GO! They will eventually get SARB’d and will have to appear in court.

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