I have recently been checking out a number of stories that fall under the umbrella of truancy laws in the USA. It started with checking out the court cases brewing in oh so red Texas. Not liking to be a biased prick I checked out a number of sources and even reviewed the laws of my home state (MA).
I find it shocking that on every freaking level the American Public Education System is at best stuck in a 20th century model. I also find it shocking that as it pertains to truancy many of our jurisdictions are practicing such egregiously unlawful and narrow minded policies in their effort to stamp out truancy.
The thought of handcuffing and jailing some kid because they don’t go to school is mind boggling to me. I say the same thing about fining parents hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in penalties. This is outrageous!
There are so many reasons kids don’t go to school and having Johnny Law drag them into court isn’t the way to go. The thinking behind combating truancy is over 100 years old. Based in the era that was the wicked late to table efforts of combating child labor the truancy laws in America were part of the logical process to get kids who had never had the ability let alone the drive to attend daily school to get to their seat. There is a lot of things wrong with this but I’ll leave it alone for now. The next level of truancy law thinking is the statistics driven drivel regards youth crime. The stats are less than credible in my opinion since they falsely tag the problems. I also really hate the fact that in way too many cases this creates/perpetuates the schools are prisons symbolism that has so many negative aspects to it.
All in all the get tough on kids and parents truancy laws in effect in America are in my opinion illegal and grossly misguided. Society in general and the schools specifically need a major paradigm shift. The system is very badly broken and has been for sometime now. The nostalgics are as wrong as the progressives when it comes to public schools and until we get serious and go to a model that really works we will continue to fail ourselves and the kids.
- Parents File Suit Over “Inconsistent” Penalties For Truant Students (dfw.cbslocal.com)