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Hey Truants -- They're Coming After You

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Playing hooky just got a bit tougher.

Harris County DA Kenneth Magidson plans to announce Thursday a beefed-up anti-truancy program, one that will provide more staffers to a dozen school districts and seven Justice of the Peace courts.

A publicized anti-truancy event is pretty much an annual thing -- school superintendents knocking on apartment doors with TV crews in tow -- but this one, while less glamorous, has a chance to be more effective.

"This fall, program leaders expect to surpass the 100,000 mark in warning notices issued to students with unexcused absences. The program also targets their parents with potential criminal penalties," DA spokeswoman Donna Hawkins says.

The central and south regions of HISD are involved in the program, along with the Aldine, Clear Creek, Deer Park, Galena Park, Klein, La Porte, North Forest, Pasadena, Spring, Tomball and Waller school districts.

So don't be a fool, stay in school. Don't be all kooky, don't play hooky. Or whatever "hip" slogan will be unveiled Thursday.

-- Richard Connelly

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