All Articles Tagged "truancy"
This school year, Andria Black’s autistic son has racked up 16 days worth of absences, made up of 10-minute tardy’s and sick days. Now those absences may also add up to jail time for the 9-year-old’s mother.
Andria claims her son’s special needs affect the time she is able to get him to school in the morning but after three years of trying to work something out, the Fitzgerald school district in Macomb County, MI, has turned Andria’s case over to the Macomb Country Intermediate School District, where the truancy officer is prosecuting her on charges that could lead to 90 days in jail and place her son in foster care.
“There has been an ongoing situation with this mother and at some point when things don’t change it has to go to court, our number one priority is educating kids,” M.I.S.D Deputy Superintendent Don Bollinger, says.
But is jail the way to get that message across? Andria obiously doesnt think so, saying some mornings her son will just shut down and not want to go to school. “If they need to reprimand me or he needs to make it up in summer school or something that’s fine, but jail time is not the answer.”
Instead of jail time, what this 27-year-old mother needs is parenting classes or a support group to help her figure out how to deal with her son’s special needs. Punishing her with jail time can’t do that.
Yesterday, Andria and her attorney requested a jury trial and they’re also hoping to focus the case on the number of absences her son has had this school year and not from the past three years. Her lawyer says it’s too difficult for Andria to recall why her son was absent or late on a particular day a few years ago.
Do you think this mother should serve jail time for her son’s truancy?
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(Washington Informer ) — Truancy among students in the District is a serious issue, and with about one in seven high school students attending classes only about three times a week, the problem isn’t getting any better. School attendance in D.C. is required for any child who reaches age five on or before December 31 and they must attend classes until their 18th birthday. However, students under 18 are listed as truant after several incidences of unexcused absences. Recent reports have stated that as many as 2,000 students a day are reported truant in the District. Some of the reasons include domestic issues, bullying and lack of transportation. “But, I think that most of the kids who are not attending simply don’t like school or they just aren’t doing well in their classes,” said D.C. Council member Michael Brown (I-At-Large). “Instead of bringing them back to school or processing them at a police station, I suggest sending them to a job training program.”
(Baltimore Sun) — Barbara Gaskins says she took her 15-year-old son to his bus stop every morning at 7:30, well in time for his 9 a.m. homeroom bell at Patterson High School. She obtained as many medical excuses as the doctor would allow when her son suffered from a series of stomach viruses. And she has taught her children that they have to “get an education to get somewhere in life.” But Gaskins was recently jailed for 10 days — one of the dozen parents of Baltimore City students to receive a sentence this year — after failing to send her child to school 103 of 130 days. More than 400 parents have received notification this school year that they would face a District Court judge as a result of charges filed by the school system’s Office of Attendance and Truancy. Even more than a letter home from their students’ teachers or principals, parents dread a letter from Alfred Barbour, the court liaison for the school system. He enforces the school system’s philosophy that children younger than 16 — the state’s compulsory age of attendance — missing exorbitant amounts of school is not only unacceptable but criminal.
(Afro) — David Clarke isn’t a cop or a truant officer, but for a few years now he has taken his fight against truancy directly to students’ front doors. Behind those doors, Clarke often finds students and their families in crisis causing unexcused absences. Clarke, the admissions director for the six D.C. schools operated by Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI), said student truancy often has complicated underlying causes. “Most of our students are not skipping school just for the heck of it,” Clarke said. “I have found some of our kids with no food, no electricity, no heat or hot water. Some were left to babysit younger siblings. Others were afraid to leave home because of neighborhood beefs,” said Clarke. “Some had no clean clothes, no money to do laundry and were embarrassed to come to school because they didn’t feel presentable.” Mary Rinder, co-director of SESI’s High Road Academy for high school students with learning disabilities, said getting these students back into the classroom is the first step.
(Washington Examiner) — D.C. police picked up more than 3,700 students for truancy in the first semester of a school year marked by new reforms. “The challenge is, how much does a student learn when he’s not in school?” D.C. Councilman Sekou Biddle, chairman of the Special Committee on School Safety and Truancy, told The Washington Examiner. “For us to have long-lasting, sustainable education reform, we’ve got to improve what’s going on inside classrooms, but also the number of students there to benefit from it.” Biddle said D.C. Public Schools reported that 13 percent of secondary school students had racked up 15 or more unexcused absences, earning them the school system’s “chronically truant” label.
(New American Media) — He was on his way to class. He really was. He wasn’t “ditching” and he had no intentions of leaving campus to engage in illicit or illegal behavior. Rodney Smith said he forgot his backpack in the school cafeteria and went to retrieve it; that’s the reason he was late to class after lunch, and being late is the reason he was given a truancy ticket. “…I was just a couple of minutes late … the officers took me to their office to give me the ticket which made me even later for class than I had been for just going to get my backpack,” he said. “Truancy” tickets are issued to students throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) under Los Angeles Municipal Code 45.04, which prohibits juveniles from loitering during normal school hours. Students who are not in school during those hours and who appear to be without parental/adult supervision are given citations that come with a minimum fine of $50 dollars.