Nearly 50 truancy cases from county school districts reached the
level of a disciplinary review board last year. While that number
may seem small, it isn’t. Those cases affect the entire
Nearly 50 truancy cases from county school districts reached the level of a disciplinary review board last year. While that number may seem small, it isn’t. Those cases affect the entire community.
Truancy is an early sign of problems with a young student. It is a sign that the student is losing his or her focus. And when they stop going to school, they are, in fact, telling their parents, their school and the community there’s trouble and they need help.
Truancy is the door to a possible life filled with struggles. It puts the student at risk of a long-term disadvantage in becoming a productive member of society.
For example, high school dropouts are more than 200 percent more likely to be on welfare than high school graduates. High school dropouts are nearly 50 percent more likely to be unemployed as high school graduates.
Truancy is the door to self-abuse that can include drugs and alcohol.
As one county official said, truancy ensures future failure in our children.
Truancy is the door to crime and juvenile delinquency. High truancy rates are directly linked to high daytime burglary rates and vandalism.
Incoming District Attorney John Sarsfield ran on a campaign that focused in part on working with families and school and probation officials to lower truancy among the county’s young people.
Sarsfield also pushes for enforcing penalties against juveniles who don’t go to school. He says truancy enforcement is important for a number of reasons, including decreasing juvenile crime rates and educating juveniles to ensure they are not at home, unsupervised, but are becoming valuable members of society by receiving an education.
Sarsfield is credited with helping develop a truancy program in Monterey County and will work with the SBC Probation Department to strengthen and expand its truancy program.
Tackling truancy is one of the first ways that a community can reach out quickly to a troubled juvenile and help families that are struggling with their children.
If you think high-school dropouts, a substance abuse problem and high daytime crime rates don’t affect us all, think again.