ATTENDANCE OFFICER … Attendance Officer Gale Horn starts his new position as County Attendance Officer.
By: Jacob Kessler
The Williams County Common Pleas Court (Juvenile Division) and all school districts in the county have worked together to create a new county wide attendance officer position for the 2021-2022 school year.
The court and school districts choose to hire Gale Horn for this position. Mr. Horn is a retired officer from the Ohio State Highway Patrol and has been working as a truancy officer for the past 2 years at Edon and Edgerton.
“Edon got ahold of me when I retired from the Highway Patrol and Edgerton is contracted with Edon, so I provided service to both schools.”
“The judge was seeing how I took care of the schools and asked if I would be interested in doing all 7 and I was,” said Mr. Horn.
Mr. Horn began his duties in August of 2021 for the new position and will be monitoring and assisting the students in all of the county’s districts.
He will work with personnel at the school as well as the students and their families to in order to address attendance issues early. “Hopefully we can bring the numbers down. There has been an issue for a while now but hopefully we can get it under control,” said Mr. horn.
Judge Gallagher was instrumental in the whole process and stated, “school attendance programs have to be designed to encourage and foster collaboration among the schools, families and courts.
A student’s educational success or lack thereof certainly impacts the community in which the student lives. This is why we all have to work together to have an end result of educated youth which serves to build stronger families and communities.”
The whole goal for Mr. Horn and Judge Gallagher is stop prevent truancy before it becomes a problem. Currently, the penalty for children under the age of 18 is 10 days in the Juvenile Detention Center and the penalty for the parents and or guardians is 3 days to 6 months in CCNO and the possibility of a $1,000 dollar fine.
The plan according to Mr. Horn is to not let it get this far. “This is the last resort, and we don’t want it to get that far. These types of punishments are more for habitual issues.”
“I am straight forward with people, and I let them know that if it gets that far this is what is waiting. But no one wants it to come to that and there are many things we can do to help people so that this isn’t an issue,” said Mr. Horn.
Jacob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org