Parents have some responsibility, too |

Parents have some responsibility, too

Lori Hanson, Carson City

Shouldn’t the schools have some responsibility in catching truancy problems before parents end up in court?

Yes, I believe that parents are responsible for making their kids go to school. Children shouldn’t be allowed to miss school unless they are sick.

In a recent case, a woman made sure her child got to school. She drove her to school in the morning and picked her up at the end of school each day. I feel that’s pretty good effort on her part, especially if she is working full-time and has a boss and co-workers who are willing to work around her schedule so that she can do this.

Should she have checked with the school each day to make sure her daughter was actually attending classes? Maybe.

But if she didn’t know there was a problem, why would she do that?

During our oldest son’s senior year, he suddenly went loco and decided to ditch school on a regular basis. This wasn’t a case of the kid running wild for lack of parental supervision. He got up, got dressed, said bye and, as far as we knew, went to school. My husband happened to see him riding in a friend’s car at 8:15 one morning. He called me and I called the school.

They couldn’t tell me until approximately 10 whether my son was at school or not because the roll-call records weren’t in until then.

For some reason they couldn’t call the class and ask if he was there or not. Around 10, someone in the office called me back and said that my son was absent earlier but was now at school. At that time, I was informed that he had missed 28 classes. (We weren’t even half way through the first quarter). I asked why I wasn’t notified of his excessive absences and was informed of the electronic telephone thing they do to inform parents of absences. I hadn’t received any calls.Come to find out, at some point, my son had been allowed to switch our phone number on the emergency call list to his teen line number.Well, guess what?

I immediately went to the school.When I looked in his school file, there

were notes excusing him for every absence.Each note was in different

handwriting, and the language was completely different in each one. When I asked why they didn’t contact me about the discrepancies, I was told that they didn’t have enough manpower, that there were too many kids to keep track of and that student workers were the ones responsible for filing the notes. No adult would have even seen the notes to note the discrepancies.

Now, I have to ask myself, When did the schools lose all accountability?

When I attended that same school several years ago, the office staff noticed things like excessive absence and different handwriting on notes.They called your parents if they felt there was a problem.Was this done out of the goodness of their hearts or was it their responsibility to inform the parents before it became a problem? If so, what happened to that responsibility? So, because the school doesn’t have the manpower to detect an attendance problem, that means that the kids don’t have to be accountable to the school and the school doesn’t have to be accountable to the parents.

Should all of us parents call daily to check and make sure our kids are actually attending classes so that we aren’t dragged into court too? Do the schools have the manpower for that?

We were lucky. Our son was caught before much damage was done. I went in and spoke with a counselor and signed a contract allowing the school to take over monitoring his attendance thereby relieving me of that duty. At that time, the school became accountable. My son didn’t miss another day the rest of the year.

Parents, call the schools and check on your students. Protect yourselves.

If you do find out there’s a problem, speak with the counselors and find out how you can work together to help your child succeed. Yes, we as parents have a responsibility to get our children to school, but after they are there, whose responsibility is it to alert the parents of habitual truancy?

The schools say there is not enough manpower to track truancy problems. In this day and age of computers?What a weak excuse. Doesn’t “it’s too much work let’s pass the buck” sound more like it? If the school won’t monitor attendance, take matters into your own hands. You call them.

Nevada 89701

(775) 882-7030