March 7, 2013
The Importance of School Attendance
Student 114 is a sophomore at Lincoln High in Southeast San Diego. What makes her exceptional is the number of school days she missed last year - 87, or nearly half the 10th grade. She cost her school $2,464.71 (Faryon). Unfortunately, student 114 is not the only one who is making her school lose money due to an absurd number of absences. In fact, student 114 is one of 358 students on a list of the chronically absent at Lincoln High (Ibid). This student probably does not know how his or her absences have damaged his or her school, and neither do the other 357 chronically truants at Lincoln High. Truancy, however, does not affect only the school - it undermines a student's performance at school. Therefore, it is crucial to attend school daily, especially for those who attend public schools.
To begin with, a "truant", according to the California Department of Education, is a student that misses "more than 30 minutes of instruction without an excuse three times during the school year," and he or she "must be classified as a truant and reported to the proper school authority" ("Truancy"). A chronic truant, however, is a student who "who is absent from school without a valid excuse for ten percent or more of the school days in one school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date" (Ibid). Nevertheless, the California Department of Education provides penalties for both the parents and the students - the penalties for students varying from a written warning to the revocation of driving privileges, while the penalties for parents vary from a fine of not more than $100 to time in jail. Thus, truancy can result in problems to both...