This article appeared in U.S. Today newspaper on 3/20/95 and is worth repeating as written. The setting is in Knoxville, Tenn. yet could be here in Peoria County. “Prosecutors summoned parents of repeatedly truant children to attend a meeting about the law concerning excessive absences in the classroom of public schools. About 40% of the adults didn’t show up.
Know County District attorney General mailed letters about the evening meeting to 582 parents, but 241 were absent.
State law allows prosecutors to hold parents accountable for their children’s school absences. Nineteen parents were arrested whose children had more than 10 unexcused absences from school. Parents found guilty can be punished by a year in jail.
We have only just begun, the Attorney General said. We mean this. I don’t know how else to say it. You’re going to send your child to school”.
Lacking in our public education system is not enough “tough love.” Look for more and more disrespect of the educational and also law and order systems by parents (I use the term lightly in many cases) and their offspring. One sophomore student I talked to recently said “our teacher shouts at us so we just shout back”. A great way to teach!!
I’ll blog more on how to make the public school systems succeed. I have been a longtime advocate of the public school systems and have written many articles about how to make the system work. If you go into my archives on this site, you will find at least 3 articles. In the meantime Superintendent Hinton and his board need help in changing state laws on truancy from the people who represent us in Springfield. With input from school leadership, lobbyists could help write the bill. As I’ve said before many times, the current system despite all its successes is not in what it needs to be. Just watch the news!!