more truancy in the news

An article on Pennsylvania truancy fines (hat tip to Corn and Oil):
A federal lawsuit accuses a Pennsylvania school district of imposing excessive and illegal fines on truant children or their families, including one parent ordered to pay $27,000 and a 17-year-old student fined more than $12,000.
The suit against the Lebanon School District, filed Thursday in Harrisburg by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia on behalf of four parents and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, targets the court-imposed fines it says were above the state's limit of $300 per violation.
The suit seeks a class-action declaration and the return of any illegal money that the south-central Pennsylvania district collected. It also asks the court to stop the district from trying to collect any fines that violate state law and remain unpaid.
Superintendent Marianne Bartley has denied any wrongdoing by the district and referred calls Thursday to a lawyer. The lawyer, Rebecca Young, said that some of the law center's information in its public statements is inaccurate, but that she had not seen a copy of the lawsuit and could not comment on it.
Many state truancy laws allow fines or even jail; Pennsylvania allows penalties to be imposed after three unexcused absences.
The maximum penalty is $300 per unexcused absence, and the fine can be imposed on parents, as well as children 13 or older. As an alternative, a judge can order parents to complete a parenting education program or to perform community service. If a parent does not comply, a judge can order up to five days in jail.
Fining a 17-year-old for truancy?  How about refunds of tax dollars to kids who can't do college-level work?  More from the post (emphases mine)
Besides imposing illegal fines, the district has enforced payment with jail, even getting one person incarcerated for 85 days, the law center said.
The 17-year-old fined more than $12,000 is not a plaintiff, nor is the parent who was ordered to pay $27,000 in fines because she didn't have $70 to pay for a home-schooling evaluation.
One plaintiff, Omary Rodriguez Fuentes, has paid $1,064 in fines from her disability income and still owes $5,927 for 29 truancy citations, the suit said. She is the parent of three current students and one former student in the district.
The New York-based Vera Institute of Justice issued a policy paper in October after analyzing that state's truancy program and suggested that punishment is counterproductive, even though the most common responses to teenage chronic absence around the country is punitive.
The laws that give schools power over parents are the compulsory attendance laws, see my posts here and here and here.  They have no place in a social service for families in a democratic country.

Pressure on teachers means they want to start grading parents in which the public school system now inserts itself into the family as we all know that the family is the source of all our problems.

Contaminate the entire Gulf of Mexico, well, it's a business error.  A child with poor grades:  put the parents in jail.  It is incredible to understand that compulsory attendance was considered necessary in large part to combat child labor and now these laws have the effect of maintaining new child labor camps, called schools, where standards, grading and truancy police ensure more exploitation of children and families.

Police have no place in a social service that should be humane and working closely with families instead of a factory system that issues instructions and threats.
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