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  Parents in court over kids' truanting
Updated 26 February 2003, 14.23
Child with parents and policeman
A group of parents were in court today charged with letting their kids play truant.

The eight families are thought to be the first to be charged under tough new anti-truancy measures brought in by the Government.

It used to take ages to bring parents to court for letting their children bunk off.

Jail

Now a new fast track system means they can be in front of a judge in a few months.

The families were in court in Thurrock in Essex and could face a 2,500 fine or even three months in jail.

The 13 kids involved are aged between five and 16.

Truancy is a huge problem in Britain - about 50,000 of you bunk off a day.

All the cases have been put off until a pre-trial review on 2 April.

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