BUSTED: Truancy officers in Richmond, Va., talk with students off campus during school. Last year one in four Richmond students had 10 or more unexcused absences. DON LONG/RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH/AP
Kids skip class - and parents go to jail?
As federal law spurs schools to curtail truancy, some use a get-tough approach with parents.
By Stacy A. Teicher | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
The headlines read like a version of "Scared Straight" for adults: "Parents arrested over truant kids." The roundups in the past six weeks - 11 arrests in Detroit, four in New Mexico, and 19 in Knox County, Tenn. - are the most eye-catching aspect of a get-tough approach to school attendance. But the goal is to get students back to school, not to put their parents behind bars, school and law enforcement officials say. While some parents have served short jail terms for contributing to their children's truancy, most are sentenced to perform community service or pay fines if they fail to respond to less-punitive measures.
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