Incarceration for mums and dads whose kids miss too much school may seem a little far-fetched—fictional even. But it is happening in reality due to a number of school districts that are sick and tired of students being absent from classes!
So which part of the world wants to implement such absurd measures to crack down on non-attendance in school? It is (drum roll please…) none other than Palm Beach County in Florida, USA.
This county in Florida is about to make parents pay the price for their kids who play hookie too much. The kids do the crime but the parents will do the time. Do you think that this is a reasonable way to resolve the problem? Are parents ultimately to be blamed for their kids’ attendance in school?
Let’s punish the parents instead
How many days must a kid miss out on school before the parents have to be punished? Well, if the child skips out on more than 15 days of school over a 3-month period, that’s when their parents will be jailed.
The law in Florida states that parents can face up to about two months of jail time if their kid(s), aged 6 to 16, has unexcused absences—15 in a period of 3-months. In the past, there wasn’t enough manpower to bring the cases to court but now a new truancy court has been put in place and kids from kindergarten till third grade are being targeted.
A serious problem
Apparently truancy is a big problem in Palm Beach. About 6.6 percent of students accumulated 21 or more absences without any valid excuse. Well, there are only 198,351 students in the county. Just FYI, it’s not just Florida State that has implemented this law. In Baltimore City, close to a dozen parents were sent to jail because their kids played hookie and in California’s Orange County, five parents have gone to prison after the anti-truancy law was implemented. Alabama and Texas have similar stories to share.
A good solution?
We hardly think that punishing the parents via prison time is a good solution. It is almost as ridiculous as caning students for being late. Yes, indeed in Singapore students get caned for being tardy. Imagine what will happen if students pay hookie all the time.
Indeed punishing parents might aid in placing fear over their heads. This scare tactic might help parents get their kids to school and monitor their attendance, but in the long run, the desire to attend school must come from within the child.
Should parents go to jail when kids miss too much school?
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