For senior Cynthia Ruiz, the school year starts with a new rule. Students in Richmond cannot be off campus a half hour after school takes in until a half an hour before school ends or they can be cited and taken to a counseling center and their parents will be notified.
"I guess it's good, but at the same time it's kind of unfair because, you know, some kids try their best and they live farther away or the buses are running late. So I think they should give at least some leniency, but not too much," she said.
Her mother Dinora Brode has no problem with the policy or the possible $500 fine for parents whose children are repeat offenders.
"It will keep the kids in school probably and the parents will be more strict on the kids now. I got a good kid right here," she said.
A student cutting class will now be brought on one of two counseling centers and dropped off so their problem can be identified and assistance arranged. The parent will be notified and brought in to the process.
Richmond City councilman Jim Rogers told ABC7 in a written statement: "The current system is broken. Te truancy rate is staggering. Something had to be done."
From a police perspective, it will save officers time because they will no longer have to wait at the police station while a parent is located to come claim the student and it will reduce crime.
"If we are getting them off the streets and they are not actually committing a crime, then we are actually lowering some of our other criminal acts and officers' responses to burglaries and thefts and stuff like that," Sgt. Bisa French from Richmond Police said.
Not everyone is comfortable with the new policy. Some are concerned about racial profiling but Councilman Rogers is 100 percent confident that Richmond Police will be facing their citations on people's actions and not on their skin color.