Judge battling truancy asks for state's help
A circuit judge leading a fight against truancy asked lawmakers Tuesday to review the state's definition of child neglect and abuse to incorporate parents who routinely keep their healthy children home from school.
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#1 Dec 17, 2011
Unfortunately, habitual truancy is merely a symptom and not the disease. Children who adopt the habit of truancy do so because they live in households where truancy is tolerated. Of course habitually truant children do very badly in school, but those two are not cause and effect. They are two effects of a common cause. Such children are living in inadequate households. Such children are taught how to behave by the inadequate adults that they live among. Over 91 percent of every childhood is spent somewhere other than in school. Forcing unraised children to appear in school regularly is no cure for their academic failure. Forced school attendance will not quickly (or even eventually) cause them to act as if they have been responsibly raised. For at least the last half century, America has ordered its public schools to fix a long list of non-school social problems. It has ordered in vain. Schools everywhere are very successful at educating those children who have been responsibly raised, but can to very little for those children who have not. If we really care about our habitual truants, we must do something about the inadequate households that produce them. Ordering schools to fix the problem of habitual truancy is like prescribing aspirin for a brain cancer. Even if it makes you feel better temporarily, it is the political correctness equivalent wishing the cancer away.
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