February 24, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393
jchavez@ped.state.nm.us

Truancy Documentary Part of Governor’s Anti-Truancy Media Campaign

(Santa Fe, NM)--A truancy documentary, entitled, “Truancy: New Mexico Style”, which was shot by student filmmakers across New Mexico as part of Governor’ Richardson’s anti-truancy media campaign will air on KNME on Sunday, February 27th at 8:30 am. In 2004, Governor Richardson’s anti-truancy media campaign began with visits by vocalist Hurrikane 9 to schools across New Mexico. The campaign continued with psa’s, billboards and now the release of this unique, student-shot documentary.

Secretary García said,

“I believe this documentary will help parents and administrators understand the
root causes of truancy. We are employing many different strategies to
fight truancy and we recognize that prevention and intervention are key
tactics to battling the problem. I am grateful to all the individuals that
helped produce this video. I also want to recognize the students that had
the courage to tell their stories on camera. Through honest, open
communication between parents, teachers and administrators, we can implement
the solutions that will reduce student truancy.”

The production of this documentary represents collaboration between teachers, students, Albuquerque film professionals as well as representatives from the Public Education Department and the New Mexico Tourism Department. Students from Robertson High School in Las Vegas, Las Cruces High and Albuquerque High went directly to the sources and interviewed a diversity of students in multiple economic, social and racial backgrounds who habitually skip school and miss out on important steps in their education. With help from Albuquerque film professionals, the students visited the parks, the hang outs and the streets where truants go to get away from school and talked to administrators, truant officers and even the cabinet secretary of education, Veronica C. García, on why students don't go to school and what can be done about it.

Janet Garcia from Las Cruces High School, Antonia Kueffer from Robertson High and Ann Bromberg from Albuquerque High School assisted their video and media students in producing this documentary. Jon Hendry, marketing director for the New Mexico Tourism Department and executive producer says, "It was a great pleasure working with these kids. I look forward to meeting them on a movie set in 10 years." Elizabeth Gabel produced and Charlie O'Dowd directed.

For more information or to check out a copy of the documentary please contact Norma Vasquez, State Truancy Coordinator, at (505) 827-1804.