Debate time! Should parents face fines/jail if their kids are truant?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Caesar753, Jun 12, 2014.

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  1. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jun 13, 2014

    Seriously?

    That's extraordinarily judgmental and shows a clear lack of understanding adolescence. I have three small children and I'm a very, very good parent but the best parent cannot control hormones or natural human development, so I know that in 10 years I will have three adolescent boys (aka trouble) on my hands.. Adolescents' brains are not fully developed and no amount of "good parenting" can override development and the adolescent proclivity to impulsivity.

    And with that, I'm done with this conversation.
     
  2. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Princess...when (if) you have children, you may find that the most capable and excellent parents are sometimes faced with challenging situations and children.

    In my years of teaching, I have personally known parents who absolutely are 100% into their children, yet they face these types of situations with a child.
     
  3. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Amen to that. I remember before I had kids I used to look at other parents and their children in disgust and think "my kids will never act like that," or "I will raise my kids to know better."

    I have raised them to know better, I enforce consequences, etc. etc. etc.

    But! This is a bit off topic, but I wanted to share because despite all the beliefs and convictions we hold, reality will come and smack us upside the head.

    My oldest has ADHD to the extreme and we tried everything until we had to cave and put him on medicine. It's amazing how he is now not only manageable, but a pleasure to be around. Before, NO CONSEQUENCE could control him, he would even break down and say things like "I want to be good, but something is wrong with my brain, I just can't stop!" (his behavior was poor, he was on a twin high-powered motor! getting in major trouble in Kindergarten). I hate saying it, but thank goodness for ADHD medication, I now NEVER get a phone call at school from his school where before I was getting them DAILY, and I would break down in tears in front of my students.

    If someone had told me 5 years ago my oldest son would be a behavior problem or I wouldn't be able to control him despite my strict and vigilant parenting, I would've called them a liar!
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 13, 2014

    I think all parents have this optimistic vision that our children will be perfect.
    Reality does have a way of "smacking us upside the head"!
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    My parents were great parents. They gave me consequences for behavior. I still skipped classes at least once a week because I just didn't feel like going. And my parents never knew. Why? Because I was involved in music (and so I had sectional rehearsals for both band and chorus), and because my chorus teacher had a bad habit of leaving signed hall passes lying around. Since I always had a note from another teacher, because I was careful not to skip any one class too often, and because neither my chorus nor band teacher ever once felt the need to give teachers their sectional schedules, there were never any red flags.

    For that matter, I got drunk regularly every weekend from the time I was 14 on. And my parents never knew. Why? Because I could pop my window screen out from inside my room, and because my dad snored like a chainsaw. I'd go to bed like a good little boy at 10:00, my dad would be snoring away by 11:30, I leave the house at 11:40, meet my friends by midnight, and get safely back in my room by 4:00 AM.
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Hmmm, jail time seems extreme unless there is abuse or neglect going on. I think we as a society need to first look into resources such as counseling to work with the family and identify why the child is skipping school so often first before throwing them into jail. Is the child afraid? Angry? Just plane ole' defiant? Let's figure out a plan then, first.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Would school pay for that counseling?
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Jun 13, 2014

    Who would be paying for the jail?

    Either way, society pays....
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If jail, and not a fine, is the alternative, then yes, you have a point. But even the cost of jail wouldn't be an up-front sort of cost in the same way that counseling is.

    I'm legitimately curious about who should foot the bill if the solution to the truancy problem is counseling.
     
  10. PrincessDaisy

    PrincessDaisy Rookie

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    I never said you're a bad parent if your child isn't always perfect. There's a difference between, as someone else brought up a pregnant teen, your daughter acting like she's having sex and her actually getting pregnant. I don't understand how you know your child is having sex, and in some cases allowing it in your home, and you don't any thing to prevent pregnancy. Like condoms or birth control. Then, she's showing and say "I don't know what happened". WTF? How do you not know? For example, my father is alcoholic. I could turn around and make excuses for him all day and say "You know, he did X,Y, and Z but in the end he was a good father". No, he wasn't. Did he try? Very little. That IMO doesn't mean he wasn't a bad father. I think this is the biggest problem in America. Unless you're molesting or beating your children, you are a "good" parent. No. You're not. I don't why parents get so many chances, especially when there are good families waiting years to adopt.
     
  11. PrincessDaisy

    PrincessDaisy Rookie

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    I don't think that is bad parenting. A bad parent would deny him his medicine.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jun 13, 2014


    Just to clarify, are you suggesting that children should be routinely removed from bad (however that is defined) parents and placed for adoption?

    Do you know how many children over the age of five are currently awaiting adoptive homes?
     
  13. PrincessDaisy

    PrincessDaisy Rookie

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    Yes.

    I'm really not sure why that is, because a lot of people are waiting to adopt children.
     
  14. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    From my understanding older kids (probably 6+) tend to stay in foster care and bounce home to home because of too much supply and not enough demand.

    Infant adoptions on the other hand... people line up around the block for those. In fact, there are black markets out there for stealing babies and selling them for adoption. Nothing like that for older kids (with the grotesque exception of those who kidnap for prostitution/molestation reasons).

    Parents aren't perfect, I don't think it would be in the best interest of the child to remove them from a loving home (despite flaws, even gross flaws) and place them with strangers unless there is clear and present risk to the child's safety (physical and mental). The sad reality is that MANY children are left in HORRIBLY abusive and neglectful situations with authorities KNOWING about it. I subscribe for notifications on a child abuse sight and I hear DAILY multiple stories about children who are tortured to death, in many cases with documented actual abuse reports. I have heard of so many abhorrent cases that I am just thankful to see parents who love their kids and don't shoot them with electrical currents, leave a baby unattended in a carseat for 8 days without food or diaper changes and the baby dies from bacterial infection, a two year old who died because mom and boyfriend beat him to death in his sleep, a baby who ran after his mommy begging for her to take him to the bank with her and she didn't meanwhile boyfriend beat the child so severely that he ruptured multiple organs and the baby subsequently died...etc. etc. etc. For this reason, I disagree with you wholeheartedly, loving homes are A-ok, even if flawed with truancy, lack of consequences, and letting kids run wild and free. It's not the best for them, but at least they aren't battered to death or bounced from foster home to foster home. With that said, parents of 10 year olds who miss 30 days of school (like two of my students this year), should have some consequence, though not severe to the level of jail or removal of their child. What consequence, I'm not sure, that's for the legal system to determine.

    Our concern if we are going to discuss removing children from homes should be removing those children from homes where their lives are in danger, but it is unfortunately not a priority in some areas of the country.
     
  15. PrincessDaisy

    PrincessDaisy Rookie

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    I don't agree with CPS at all, because in multiple situation where children were being harmed and nothing was done. I reported a parent for abuse and nothing was done. The child wasn't removed, the parent didn't get into any trouble, and the social worker told me "There were issues with X, Y's older sibling, in 2010". I disagree about foster homes. The majority of foster homes aren't abusive. A lot of good people are foster parents. It's a small minority that is crazy and abusive.
     
  16. otterpop

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    No one had mentioned community service as a consequence. That seems like a reasonable consequence.... everyone benefits. Kids stay at home, poor parents aren't faced with insurmountable fines, the community benefits from the service, and taxpayers don't pay for jail time.
     
  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 14, 2014

    Princess, your opinions are pretty well defined. How would you handle it if you were notified at work that your child was skipping school?
     
  18. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Jun 14, 2014

    That's a great idea!
     
  19. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    But then what happens when these parents or kids don't show up for that? Yes, in some cases the parent is trying their hardest. But, let's be honest, in many cases, the parents just don't CARE. I hear it every year. If the parents don't see the value in school, they won't do community service over it.

    So, if you give community service and no one shows... then what? You're back to the same dilemma. We need a solution (and I'm not saying that I know it; I don't) for the ones who honestly don't put in the effort to get their kids to school.
     
  20. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I say yes for small kids. Clearly if a young child is always late or missing school, it´s clearly the parents´fault. This is happening to my sister´s step son, when he is with the mom. He has missed so much school because the mom simply doesn´t take him. You can´t blame the child in this case. Now, if we are talking about teens who intentionally leave the school and ditch classes, then I think it´s a whole different ball game.
     
  21. PrincessDaisy

    PrincessDaisy Rookie

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    Depends on the time. If it was early, I would take off and speak to them. If it was late, close to school closing, I would speak to them with I come home. Either way, I'd dress up in my pjs with rollers and walk them to every class. I would do this every day until they got the idea. When I worked, am I'm unemployed now, I always saved my sick days. I would have a bank of them.
     
  22. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I once thought I would do the same thing if I had to address that situation.

    However, I have changed my mind about humiliating my child that way when another child in the high school my children attended committed suicide when the parents did that. I didn't know the student (there were 4500 students in that school). I guess I would really want to make sure that my child was mentally stable first.
     
  23. PrincessDaisy

    PrincessDaisy Rookie

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    I also think some people are easily swayed by any sad story they hear. When I was longterm subbing, there was a difficult parent. I held her very accountable. Not more than others, but accountable. She was used to floating through life on sob stories. I even heard her tell another parent during arrival "I get to hand in my midterm late because I lied and said my aunt died when it was due". :eek: I got on her bad side over the child's missing work. She started coming in a HALF hour late to pick up the child. The child was BANNED from after school program due to behavior. This would be me, as a sub, wasting 30 minutes of my life for no pay. We held countless meetings with the principal and she's literally make up a story about some imaginary hard ship and the principal accepted it.
     
  24. PrincessDaisy

    PrincessDaisy Rookie

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    I don't understand how a parent doesn't know, though. Like I had a friend who killed himself in college. He was still living at home. He got very fat and refused to bath for several months. It was very clear to all involved he was sick. There are usually signs.
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    You'd be hard-pressed to find many jobs that would tolerate you taking several days off in a row to walk your child to class. More to the point, you'd be hard-pressed to find many schools that would allow you to do so, banked sick days or not. Many hardworking people work in jobs where taking a sick day means not getting paid, and not getting paid means not eating dinner.
     
  26. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Just because you do not understand something does not make it untrue or impossible. You had a friend in college for whom it was obvious. Great. That doesn't make it true across the board. I had a family member commit suicide and it was a total shock. No one saw it coming.

    I'm glad you plan to be the perfect parent. But part of that needs to be learning to be empathetic and open-minded to other people's struggles and realizing that people are not all the same.
     
  27. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Or where leaving work early, or even taking personal phone calls could result in the loss of the job.
     
  28. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Just a side note but the ideas of parenting and the realities of parenting are two different things. I thought I had all the answers and then I became a parent...I realize everyday how little I really know as my daughter becomes closer to being a teen (Yikes, in October!).
     
  29. teach1

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    I like the community service idea. Especially for the teenagers who are skipping. It gives them a second chance before the severe jail consequence, or a fine. At that point, if they skip community service, I definitely think they should end up in jail for a few days. Not so much as a punishment, but as an effort to get them back on track. As much as I think teenagers need to be held accountable, I also think that they are *SO* young. I believe in lots of chances.

    Also, maybe for the older students (grade 7th or above possibly???) it could be a parent & student required community service. Depending who shows up (one, both, no one...) it could give insight on the truth of the situation.
     
  30. otterpop

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    That's a fine plan if you have sick days. A lot of the parents in these situations, though, work jobs where they can't do this. Most minimum wage days don't offer paid sick days. What if taking work off for three (unpaid) days means not being able to pay rent for the month? What if needing three days off in a row means being fired?
     
  31. AdamnJakesMommy

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    That's the case in most jobs in my neck of the woods. My husband works at a place where you are hired as a temp and if you miss even 1 minute of work time, you will be let go and not become permanent. Once you become permanent if you are 1 minute late, you are written up. If you leave 1 minute early, you are written up. You have NO sick days EVER, but you do get 5 personal leave days (unpaid of course) and you accrue vacation once you have been permanent for one year at a rate of something like 3 days per year.

    Most people I know cannot take the time to walk kids to class and stay with them all day even one time, 5 personal days can be easily extinguished when your child is sick or you are sick or you have an emergency, etc. I don't know of many people who have the luxury that Princess Daisy seems to think is so easy to come by. Humans must do cost-benefit analysis in a situation like this, and for most people they are in the boat of "Do I walk my kid to class for a 4 or 5 days or do I lose my JOB, our health insurance, our lights, our water, our food, our home, our vehicle, etc.
     
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