Students late for school in one town have something worse than detention to fear — they have to pay for tardiness in cold hard cash.

In Whittier, Calif., (search) students who are caught coming to school late three times are slapped with a $165 ticket.

Tardiness in the town has been a problem: on an average day 2,3000 students walk in after the morning bell has rung. School officials have turned to the police to help combat tardiness.

Officers now patrol the streets on the lookout for late students, and say they've seen a difference.

"Since they implemented the program for the last couple of weeks the tardies have dropped significantly," said Whittier Police Department Officer Alan Dela Pena. "If we don't give them the motivation ... they sleep in and come when they want to come."

But it’s not just ticketing students that can make a difference, said Dr. Ken Seeley, President of the Colorado Foundation for Families and Children (search). "Getting the parent involvement is very important and to make the family realize that there are consequences for not getting kids to school. It sets a standard of expectation that is very important."

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