Should Skipping School be Treated as a serious Offense

I recently read that a 15-year-old girl in Germany had been jailed for skipping one day of school. Actually, there was more to the story than that. She had been assigned to do community service and had refused; her parents had been ordered to pay a fine and they refused, so I supposed the authorities felt they had to make an example of her.

While I think that jailing a 15-year-old for a day of truancy is a bit extreme, I do think that parents need to make sure there children are in school, unless there is a compelling reason for them not to be.

Taxpayers invest a lot of hard-earned money to provide schools so that children can be educated to become self-supporting adults. When children flaunt these
opportunities and treat them as worthless, they are, in a sense, stealing from the tax-payer. Studies show that habitual truants are also more often the ones who end up requiring public support later on through welfare, food stamp programs, etc. The taxpayer ends up having to pay twice.

Some ways to cure the problem might be:

1. Notify parents immediately if a child does not show up at school.

2. After 3 unexcused absences, require the parents to meet with a counselor to try to find a solution to the problem.

3. Hire a part time truant officer for the district to follow up on habitual cases.

4. Require parent to bring child to make-up classes on week-ends and sit with them if necessary.

5. Schedule child for counseling to find out why he feels justified in skipping school.

Feel free to add your own suggestions.