Truancy down in Atlantic school system, but cyber complaints rise


October 15th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Cass County Deputy Corey Larsen had some good news during Monday night’s meeting of the Atlantic Community School District’s Board of Education. Larsen, who serves as  School Resource Officer (or, SRO) for the Atlantic,CAM and Griswold School Districts, says there haven’t been a lot of issues.

Cass Co. Deputy Corey Larsen

Cass Co. Deputy Corey Larsen

Larsen says the number of truancy cases has dropped this year over last, in-part because it’s been demonstrated that officials, including himself, are cracking down on the problem and making sure kids get to school on time. Larsen said he spoke with Cass County Attorney Dan Feistner about spreading the word, that once mediation is held with parents of kids who’ve missed 10 days or more without a valid reason, an arrest warrant can be issued. 

Larsen said most of his time has been dealing with electronic issues involving students, such as those related to harassment or bullying through social media. He says squabbles form between students on sites like Facebook, along with harassment. The issues in the virtual world tend to be brought into the real world at school, and that’s something Larsen says they’re trying to quash.

He says the prevalence of smart phones and kids’ access to social media sites has exacerbated problems of harassment. Larsen said also, he’s taught some law enforcement-related classes and how to deal with electronic forms of harassment. He says the freshman class receives a course on the Criminal Justice system and cyber bullying. Larsen says he’d like to increase the number of sweeps through the buildings by the Cass County Sheriff’s Department K9 teams, including his k9 partner, Mufasa.

The deputy says he’d like to make at least two sweeps per year to show the students and the public the effort is being made to keep the district’s facilities safe and drug free.