City canvass targets truant youths

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Teachers and police Tuesday knocked on the doors of truant youths in an effort to get them back into the classroom.

“They’re sending us a message and we need to continue to dig deeper,” said Carmen Rodriguez, principal at Clinton Avenue School.

A team of educators canvassed Fair Haven along with a police officer. They are one of several teams stopping at homes of 7th and 8th graders.

One mom, who didn’t want to be identified, said her 14-year-old son is absent for good reason.

“He’s a special needs kid so it goes day by day,” she said. “So it all depends on his mood and safety issues and stuff like that.”

Neighbors said they think it will help, coupled with a higher police presence.

“I believe we’re seeing the transit community that we’re working with in Fair Haven that might not be truant as it is transitioning to other areas, but also as you saw leaving the state,” Rodriguez said.

But one mom says even if they reach one, it could help. “Because there are probably single moms such as myself that don’t know that these programs exist and I have found that a lot,” she said.

All of the teams tried to reach about 100 families. The canvassing, coupled with data sharing, is all part of the mayor’s push to curb young violence in the city.

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