Friday, December 08, 2006

Truant Kid? Parent Pays the Price

Joanne (see blogroll at left) tells about a Philadelphia program in which parents of habitually truant students first get a talking to by the mayor himself. Further truancy results in worse penalties.

One education commenter refers to this as "anti-poverty paternalism". To a conservative, governmental paternalism is a bad thing--so I don't see this as paternalism. This is holding parents responsible for the actions of their children, something most people, in most instances, probably see as a good thing. After all, if your kid puts a baseball through my window, it's not the kid I'm going to talk to....

I wonder, though--if a parent gets a kid to school, and then the child goes truant, is it 100% reasonable to hold the parent responsible? At that point, isn't the school acting in loco parentis? I can see where both would have some responsibility.

I like the fact that Philly's adding 400 truancy officers. Don't tolerate the problem, and the problem should decrease.

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