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De Baarsjes gives in to council

26 September 2008 - De Baarsjes will stop reporting youth hanging around on the street to their employer. This is the outcome of a battle of prestige between the district council and district chairman Arco Verburg.

In May, de Baarsjes launched a high-profile initiative in which policemen and school attendance officers approached youth hanging around on the street during the day. Truants were to be brought to school in a van. If youth said they had a job, the employer would be called to verify this.

A majority of the council rejected the approach because it might hurt the career of young people if the police would call their employer to   enquire about them. Verburg put the programme on hold during the summer, but announced earlier this month that it would be resumed.

Last Tuesday, Shanta Singh (D66) and Mustapha Laboui (GroenLinks) prepared a motion calling on Verburg to immediately stop calling the employers of youth encountered on the street. It is conceivable that coalition party VVD would have supported the motion.

Before the motion was put to a vote, Verburg promised to stop calling the employers. The district declined to comment on the policy change.

Photo: BMA / Wikipedia

UPDATE 29 September - In a response, a spokesperson of the district says that it does not interpret the change of course as 'giving in' but rather as a method which is progressively taking shape, placing more responsibility with the school in its role as counsellor of youth on work placements.


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