Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) now expresses regret for promoting a controversial truancy law during her tenure as California attorney general. The law obtruded fines and jail time on parents whose children had a 10% unexcused school absence record and was one of Harris’ key issues.
Harris made excessive absenteeism her cornerstone agenda after discovering that a disproportionate number of homicides in her city were caused by high school dropouts.
There is even a video of her from 2010 which shows Harris laughing and boasting with pride about the initiative.
*See the video below*
Kamala Harris at an event hosted by the Commonwealth Club in 2010, explaining her decision as San Francisco DA to get tough on truancy.
Critics of truancy crackdowns say such efforts unfairly target poor parents and children without actually helping students. pic.twitter.com/GKkDpayxuv
— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) January 28, 2019
“We are putting parents on notice,” Harris said at her 2011 inauguration. “If you fail in your responsibility to your kids, we are going to work to make sure you face the full force and consequences of the law.”
During an interview on “Pod Save America” podcast, Sen. Kamala Harris, who is also a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, stated that the law was meant to help and not hurt families and it “never was the intention” to criminalize parents.
Sen. @KamalaHarris on the truancy law she championed as Attorney General that punishes parents if their kids miss too much school.
Full interview airs tonight: https://t.co/UJ9G9AzXdD pic.twitter.com/EOtCiKHXm7
— Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) April 17, 2019
She went on to say that it had “unintended consequences.”
I'd say that parents getting arrested was the point of a law that prosecuted parents wo had trouble making sure their kids got to school, not an "unintended consequence". She has no foresight so no thanks
— Endgame- Everything Carlin Said 🇩🇴 (@EndGame001) April 18, 2019
“My regret is that I have now heard stories where in some jurisdictions, DAs have now criminalized the parents,” Harris said. “And I regret that that has happened and the thought that anything that I did could have led to that.”
“I realized that the system was failing these kids, not putting the services in place to keep them in school, to make it easier for parents to do what parents naturally wanted to do around parenting their children,” she continued. “And so I put a spotlight on it. As a result of doing that, we ended up increasing attendance by over 30% because we actually required the system then to kick in and do the services that they were required to do and sometimes had available, but they weren’t doing outreach with the parents. And so that was the whole purpose.”
For the record, no parent was ever prosecuted or sent to jail for truancy crimes while she was in office.
The fact that Sen. Kamala Harris did not foresee the potential consequences of having such a harsh truancy law speaks to the public’s opinion, namely Blacks, about her being oblivious to issues which affect poor, underprivileged people. And to be honest, there is an issue of trust or lack thereof when it comes to the senator.
There are a plethora of reasons why children miss school. Many times it’s not with the intent of just not having kids in school. Factors such as safety, physical and mental health issues, and unreliable employment or housing situations can have a prodigious impact on a student’s attendance. And for these examples to have not been considered when creating a truancy law that could negatively affect parents and children speaks volumes about Harris’ disconnect from the people.
The people she now wants to elect her for president.