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San Gabriel Valley Digest

San Dimas : Mother Guilty in Truancy

May 21, 1987

A San Dimas mother was convicted last week in Pomona Municipal Court of failing to regularly send her four children to school for the last two years.

Matilde Garcia pleaded guilty to violating state truancy laws, which stipulate that parents can be held accountable if their children fail to attend school, said Sharon Fowler, a pupil services specialist for the Bonita Unified School District.

Commissioner Marc Lauper sentenced Garcia to 35 hours of community service in lieu of a $200 fine.

Fowler would not say how long the children, aged 8 to 17, had been out of school, but said truancy cases become serious if a child is absent for more than 100 days.

Garcia was also ordered to take her children to school and see that they go to class, Fowler said. A court hearing will be held next month to determine whether she has complied.

When Lauper asked her why she did not send her children to school, Garcia said through an interpreter that they had disregarded her orders to attend, Fowler said. Garcia could not be reached for comment.

Garcia's case was one of only about six truancy cases prosecuted in the last two years in Los Angeles County. Fowler said truancy problems are usually resolved within school districts and the district attorney's office and rarely reach court hearings.

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