Two women are the first in Contra Costa County to be charged under a tough new state truancy law.
The Contra Costa Times reports the women - from Crockett and Rodeo - were supposed to be arraigned last week, but one was more than an hour and a half late and the other never showed up. The judge issued a $5,000 bench warrant for the woman who didn't show up. He set the next court date for March 23.
The state law took effect in January 2011. It criminalizes chronic truancy and holds parents responsible. If convicted, parents could face a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
One woman has a fifth-grader at Rodeo Hills Elementary school who was not in class for more than half the school year. The other has a third-grader who missed a significant number of days, according to the Contra Costa County district attorney.
A student in California is labeled chronically truant if he or she is absent without excuse for more than 10-percent of school days in the school year.