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Parents face jail for truancy in children

September 18, 2007 | Education,Ethics,Family,Journalism,Opinion,Parenting

Editorial writer Joseph H. Brown said sending parents to jail for not sending their kids to school is a good thing: “Making Parents Accountable.”

When it comes to our public schools, accountability is mandatory. That’s why we have the FCAT here in Florida and the No Child Left Behind Act at the federal level.

Teachers and administrators are held accountable, he said. So are governments and schools, he said, but parents aren’t.

There’s one important component in the education process, however, that always escapes accountability: parents.

That’s about to change, though, because Circuit Judge Ross Goodman in Escambia County plans to charge parents of chronically truant students with misdemeanors and the possibility of jail time. (His wife, Marci Goodman, is a judge in Santa Rosa County and once sentenced a woman to two years in jail for keeping her child out of school for two years.) This came about because 583 students (of 40,000 total) in his county were absent without an excuse for at least 30 days last year.

If the parent is not sending the child to school, then I can send the parent to jail. — Circuit Judge Ross Goodman

Brown says everyone else is held accountable, and it’s time to hold parents accountable too. My question is, though, when teachers, administrators, schools and governments fail children, do they go to jail too?

This isn’t new. Parents across the country were arrested for their children’s truancy, according to a 2005 article in the Christian Science Monitor. And they’ve established similar programs in the United Kingdom.

What do you think? Should parents go to jail if their children are chronically truant from school?

Posted by Becky @ 2:37 pm  

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