Truancy: Family and Truant Children

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Many agree that truancy is a problem that should be addressed. However, many disagree on which approach to use to handle the problem. Some propose that parents of truant children should be arrested. Others say that families on state aid should be denied aid because of truant children. Though both policies may have benefits, neither one is the best solution to fight truancy.

In Michigan, there is a state policy that requires children ages 6-15 to attend school full time to keep their families eligible for cash benefits. If a child does not attend school, the entire family becomes ineligible for cash benefits. Sickness, family deaths, and transportation are a few of the inadvertent problems that are often the reason for why a child is absent in school. How would families who depended on welfare to buy their groceries be able to eat? How would families that depended on their benefits to buy gas be able to get their children to school? What about families who don’t depend on welfare? Do they just have a free pass? Punishing families for situations that they can’t control is not right.
Arresting the parents of truant children is another solution that some have proposed to combat truancy. If children do not have parents to take care of them or take them to school, how are they supposed to get to school? How does taking a source of transportation for a child aid in getting them to school? A majority of parents do their best to get their child to school. Some kids just deceive their parents and not go to school. There isn’t much a parent can do when they drop off their child at school and they leave school once the parent leaves. Parents should not be punished for what the child has done.

There are many other ways we can combat truancy without arresting parents or taking away welfare from families. School districts could provide special bussing for children with transportation issues. Programs could be provided...
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