Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Father jailed for truant child not passing GED

So there is this story last week that came out of Cincinnati. The title of the story was a little misleading. It leads the reader to believe that the crime committed was a failure of a man’s daughter to pass the GED. The real story is quite different. In Ohio as in many states, they have truancy laws that hold the legal guardian accountable. First this laws makes parents get involved with parenting. It also makes it more difficult for people to use their teen kids to baby sit their younger sibling. The real reason that the father was jailed was for his daughter’s record of not showing up at school.

Reading the story you find out that the daughter was a teen mother. Her parents were divorced. Her father received the money as the legal guardian. However, the daughter (along with the "fiancé". Think high school kid with a job at Subway.) actually lived with her mother. 6 months prior the father had been called before the court where he agreed to get his daughter to finish school or get her GED. It seems that she failed it once at least. Here is the story: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iXYQiNLQsgp51Q3pX6p2aPdnyYuQD90KNG4G0

I actually love this law. As a father of a very young child I may one day regret that statement, but I doubt it. The judge did a great job putting this man in that predicament. In that past he had two option. He could have at age 16 let his daughter drop out of school as long as she had a job. One of three things hindered that. 1) His daughter refused to get a job. 2) He really wanted his daughter to finish high school and have a good starting point for adulthood. Or 3) Her father didn’t want to stop receiving the money that he got for her child support. More then likely it was a combination of all three.

I have received a lot of flack from friends and debate acquaintances for advocating this kind of government interference. A child that doesn’t graduate has a 90% chance of being on government assistance, being a single parent, or end up in prison. All three of these require tax payers to support their existence. Well I am a tax payer. So, as many layers of thought as it takes, little miss I can’t pass a GED exam will ultimately reflect negatively on my pursuit of happiness with 90% certainty. I get speeding tickets on statistics that are certain of only a fraction of a percent. As I see it, for every cent pissed away educating a child that doesn’t have the curtsey to see it through is a cent that I could have put into my children’s futures. As a side to this concept. Poor people are most often the patrons of places like Wal-Mart. They have to. This directly adversely effects the economy by expanding the trade deficit between the US and it’s foreign partners.

One of the reasons we have punishments is to make examples of behavior our society finds deviant. There needs to be a way to show other parents that keeping tabs on your children is your responsibility. These parents lack of responsibility has lead to another child being conceived and born. Who is going to teach this girl that as a parent she is responsible for the upbringing of her child. She would surely tell you that she understands, but she obviously doesn’t. How could she. Who would have taught her?

Then in a related story on talk of the nation a school has started putting GPS locator bracelets on chronic truancy offenders.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90477623
they claim a great success as long as they can keep kids from leaving school. As long as they are there and failing and in school you can find out why. A program might need to be developed for certain students. It would recognize the "disadvantaged ones." "Sorry Brittany, you are never going to amount to much more then a job that serves fries with burgers. Now lets talk about how to survive on less the $17,000 a year."


"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." - Many speakers.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If a parent gets 180 days for child truancy, what should the parents of the columbine killings get?

Shot?

Serious question.

Lord of Logic said...

No, but should they have been thrown in jail for complicity after the fact? Yes defiantly.

However, punishing the Columbine killers' parents won't prevent any further transgressions. The best you can hope for is that parents are persuaded to keep a better eye on their children. If the act itself didn't encourage better awareness, then I doubt the threat of jail will.

Logically speaking, putting the Columbine parents in jail would have little to no effect on society. Jailing a few parents for not keeping tabs on their kids and seeing that they do well in school, that has a better chance of improving the community as a whole.

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