Circuit judge backs juvenile court, jailed truants

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A circuit court judge has upheld the Knox County Juvenile Court's handing of truancy cases.

Attorneys for four students argued before Circuit Court Judge Bill Swann that the juvenile court violated students' constitutional rights by jailing some and threatening to jail others.

Swann reviewed the cases in which the four students had missed weeks -- sometimes months -- of classes. One attended only nine days of the 2010-2011 school year.

Swann ruled this month, saying the Juvenile Court of Knox County treated the students lawfully while enforcing the compulsory education law.

He noted Judge Tim Irwin never jailed any defendant more than 24 hours and granted them access to attorneys.

Swann wrote that without education, failure in adulthood is guaranteed.

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