When classes resume after spring break on Tuesday, Strongsville police will start cracking down on the city's daytime curfew law, taking aim at students who are truant from school.
Police Chief Jim Kobak said the department has been fielding a number of complaints during the teachers' strike about kids hanging around neighborhoods and businesses during the day.
"We're going to be investigating any student in a public place during school hours," Kobak said.
That will include sidewalks and local businesses.
Any students found out of school without permission will be taken to the police station and their parents will be called to come get them. They could also face charges.
Strongsville not only has a nighttime curfew for minors, but also has an ordinance that prohibits students from being out and about when they are supposed to be in class.
"If they're supposed to be in school, they have to be in school," Kobak said.
The crackdown will also apply to students joining teachers on picket lines, with one exception -- if a parent submits a signed letter to the police department giving permission for their child to picket instead of attend school.
Otherwise, "we're going to identify kids in picket lines and find out if they're supposed to be in school. If they are, they're going to come to the station with us," Kobak said.
Kobak said residents should be aware that some students at Strongsville High School are allowed to leave the building when they are finished with classes for the day.
But there are also reports of teens taking advantage of substitute staff and simply leaving the high school during the day.
And last Friday, the final day before spring break, hundreds of high school students staged a walkout to urge an end to the ongoing teachers' strike. While about 75 attended a protest on the City Commons, the majority of the students who walked out at 10 a.m. just got in their cars and left.
Police will check with the school to find out whether a student is supposed to be in class before taking them into custody, the chief said.
"We're asking parents not to let their children violate our curfew law," Kobak said.