Home » News » Kamala Harris expresses ‘regret’ over California truancy law
Kamala Harris expresses ‘regret’ over California truancy law

Kamala Harris expresses ‘regret’ over California truancy law

Sen. Kamala Harris is expressing regret for championing a truancy law during her time as California attorney general that threatened parents with prosecution if their children missed too much school.
In a “Pod Save America” interview that aired Tuesday, the Democratic presidential candidate said it “never was the intention” to criminalize parents and described the California law as one with “unintended consequences.”
“I regret that that has happened and the thought that anything I did could have led to that,” said Harris, who added that her office never sent a parent to jail for truancy crimes during her tenure as San Francisco’s district attorney.
Since she joined the race for the White House in January, the California senator has come under scrutiny for her law-and-order background, which some Democrats are wary of as the party faces questions of how it will handle criminal justice reform heading into 2020.
As the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements took off, tensions arose within blocs of liberal voters about the role of law enforcement in the United States. Harris presents her experience as a prosecutor as a strength in this area, but she also faces criticism from some who say that she aligned herself too closely with law enforcement during her political ascent.
In the interview aired Tuesday, Harris touted her efforts to fix what she called the “failing” education system by distinguishing between truancy and chronic truancy, a change that the senator said increased school attendance by more than 30 percent.
“My concern was if we don’t take seriously the need that we as a society should have to ensure that our children are receiving the benefit of an education, we will pay the price later,” Harris said. “And those kids will pay the price.”
She also said that if she were president, she would not support a law like the 2011 California measure that added jail time as a punishment for parents whose kids miss too many consecutive days of classes.
“I wanted to avoid a situation where those children end up being criminalized, some for their entire lifetime, because we failed them in the earliest stages,” Harris said.
Sen. Kamala Harris is expressing regret for championing a truancy law during her time as California attorney general that threatened parents with prosecution if their children missed too much school.
In a “Pod Save America” interview that aired Tuesday, the Democratic presidential candidate said it “never was the intention” to criminalize parents and described the California law as one with “unintended consequences.”
“I regret that that has happened and the thought that anything I did could have led to that,” said Harris, who added that her office never sent a parent to jail for truancy crimes during her tenure as San Francisco’s district attorney.
Since she joined the race for the White House in January, the California senator has come under scrutiny for her law-and-order background, which some Democrats are wary of as the party faces questions of how it will handle criminal justice reform heading into 2020.
As the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements took off, tensions arose within blocs of liberal voters about the role of law enforcement in the United States. Harris presents her experience as a prosecutor as a strength in this area, but she also faces criticism from some who say that she aligned herself too closely with law enforcement during her political ascent.
In the interview aired Tuesday, Harris touted her efforts to fix what she called the “failing” education system by distinguishing between truancy and chronic truancy, a change that the senator said increased school attendance by more than 30 percent.
“My concern was if we don’t take seriously the need that we as a society should have to ensure that our children are receiving the benefit of an education, we will pay the price later,” Harris said. “And those kids will pay the price.”
She also said that if she were president, she would not support a law like the 2011 California measure that added jail time as a punishment for parents whose kids miss too many consecutive days of classes.
“I wanted to avoid a situation where those children end up being criminalized, some for their entire lifetime, because we failed them in the earliest stages,” Harris said.