On Monday I asked whether the horrible hostage situation in Trenton last weekend (mother and son murdered; four children held hostage) could have been resolved more quickly if Trenton Public Schools had more aggressively enforced its attendance policy.
Apparently I’m not the only one asking that question. Today’s Trenton Times reports that, indeed, the district did call the house where the family was imprisoned. Here’s what happened:
A female voice, believed to be one of the girls operating on instructions from Murphy [the criminal], took the phone and answered the questions about where she and her siblings were, Superintendent Francisco Duran said yesterday.
She told the school representative that the children were sick, and could not come to school, Duran said. Truancy officers visited the home twice, but it was not until a relative sounded the alarm two weeks after Stevens’ death that police discovered the carnage that led to a 37-hour standoff with Murphy last weekend.
Yesterday, Duran defended the educators’ actions.
“We have a policy that we follow when the students are not coming to school,” Duran said.