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How Do They Come Up With These Ideas?

The latest response to fighting truancy is a full out assault against the parents.  The reasoning is clear.  It is the parents responsibility to ensure that their children attend school.  So bad must be the problem and so unable are authorities to motivate the parents to take a more diligent and proactive role, that a range of strategies, including some very weird ideas are being floated around to punish the parents.

Take this one for example:

Sen. Erik Wells wants to give parents an ultimatum: Send your kids to school, or lose your driver’s license.

The Kanawha County Democrat said Friday he plans to introduce a bill that would revoke a parent’s driving privileges if their child has 10 or more unexcused absences.

“We have to get to a point where we send a serious message to parents,” Wells told reporters at The Associated Press’ annual Legislative Lookahead conference in South Charleston.

Then there is a fine or jail time in California:

As of the new year, California parents face prosecution, fines up to $2,000, and even jail time if they don’t make sure their kids attend school regularly. The new state law took effect on January 1 and was signed into law last September by former Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s a strict law, which holds three designations for kids who chronically miss school. A truant is any student who is 30 or more minutes late to class on more than three school days, a chronic truant any student who misses more than 10 percent of school days without a valid excuse. A habitual truant is a truant who continues to miss class even after school officials attempt to reach out to the student. Parents of kids who are chronically truant can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and face a series of fines and punishments, starting with a $100 fine for the first conviction and ending with a year of incarceration and up to $2000 for parents of chronic truants.

The UK have taken a softer approach whilst proudly dubbing it “cutting edge”:

A School in the Peterborough area is introducing cutting-edge technology in its fight against truancy.

Casterton Business and Enterprise College, in Stamford, is attempting to tackle students skipping lessons with Truancy Call, a scheme which allows the school to contact parents of absent children by e-mail, text message or telephone as soon as a child is absent.

Once registration of the schoool’s 800 pupils has been completed, the Truancy Call system automatically calls, texts or emails parents until a response is received.

Once a response is received from the parents any further calls that day are stopped automatically. The school has an attendance rate of more than 95 per cent.

This one is my favourite:

Schools are bribing parents to make sure their children attend classes with the promise of cheap foreign holidays.

Families are being offered a discount if pupils turn up for ­lessons every day next term.

Education chiefs have joined forces with a travel company to offer the holiday discount scheme, which is aimed at slashing truancy.

Please tell me they are putting just as much time and effort into conceiving ways in which to make school a more inviting and accepting place for our children.

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2 Responses to “How Do They Come Up With These Ideas?”

  1. theteachingwhore Says:

    I really like your last point. While I know parents should be accountable for their children, I don’t want any more government intrusion in family life, so yeah, let’s put our efforts into redesigning the frickin’ schools instead! Thanks for letting me vent.

  2. Tanzeel Says:

    Being a citizen of Pakistan, a developing country where the budget allocation on education is under 4% I find such laws blessing. I wish we have had something like that in our unfortunate country where majority of country don’t take education seriously.

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