‘When she is asked about her anti-truancy initiative these days, Harris carefully frames her answers in terms of what happened in San Francisco when she was district attorney…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., misleadingly claimed that a truancy law she spearheaded as San Francisco’s district attorney resulted in some parents being jailed, but only as an “unintended consequence” of the law.
The law, however, specifically included a section that allowed prosecutors to fine and/or jail a parent “who has failed to supervise and encourage the pupil’s school attendance,” according to FactCheck.org.
The law, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, meant that negligent parents could face up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
In an interview with CNN, Harris claimed her truancy initiative improved school attendance and that “not one parent was sent to jail.”
Twenty parents in San Francisco were prosecuted for truancy in 2008 under Harris’s direction, according to the Los Angeles Times.
None of these parents were put in jail, but a later bill she sponsored—SB 1317—did result in some parents being jailed.
“People were thrown into jail under that law,” CNN host Jake Tapper said to Harris.
“Not by me,” Harris replied.
“Not by you, but you supported that law,” Tapper continued.
“I supported the law,” she said, “and if I could do it over again, I would have made sure that it would not have increased penalties or the ability anywhere in the state to prosecute parents, because that was never the intention. And it was never anything that I did.”
This isn’t the first time Harris has lied about her truancy program. Last month, The Washington Post assigned Harris “Two Pinocchios” for failing to include context when talking about her role in regards to the truancy law.
“When she is asked about her anti-truancy initiative these days, Harris carefully frames her answers in terms of what happened in San Francisco when she was district attorney,” The Post wrote in its “Fact Checker” blog.
“No parents were jailed there, so her responses cannot be faulted for being inaccurate,” it said. “But they can be faulted for lacking context. Harris went on to become the attorney general of California. She championed a law that other district attorneys outside San Francisco used to jail at least a handful of parents.”