The issue of punishing parents for their kids’ truancy has strong advocates on either side. Proponents feel that parents need to step up and take responsibility for their children. Parental involvement is key for the success of young people at school, so it’s important that parents keep track of their children during the day and pay attention to their school progress. That’s a parental obligation, and parents should be held accountable for their kids.
Opponents argue that punishing parents in this way doesn’t address the root causes of truancy and penalizes parents and youth with quality of life issues that prevent them from attending school. They argue that disciplining parents (and kids) for truancy is once again unfairly punishing minorities and the poor, who may have very valid reasons for not being able to attend school.
As a teacher, I am held accountable for my students while they are in school, so I feel that parents should be held accountable for ensuring that those students arrive at school. But sending parents to jail will only succeed in alienating parents and students from our public school system.
What do you think?
Photo Credit: Gates Foundation
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