30 March 2015

Child punished for being late to school

Photo taken by his mother, who was called to pick him up from school because he wouldn't stop crying.
Garloff and Cmelo spoke exclusively Wednesday night to NewsWatch 12’s Erin Maxson to explain why their son is tardy so often. According to the couple, riding the bus is not an option because the family lives within a mile of Lincoln Elementary. Hunter’s dad Mark says walking is not an option because the roads are too busy for someone his age. Hours after Mark leaves for work Nicole says she gets her son, three year old daughter and herself in the car. This, she says, can be delayed for a number of reasons. Sometimes Hunter isn’t ready, but most often the tardiness is not his fault. Nicole suffers from osteoporosis which makes it painful and difficult for her to function, especially in the morning. She said that is usually why they are late, but added that in January the tardiness increased because the family was also having trouble Nicole’s car starting regularly.
Via Reddit.  Several weeks ago New Republic posted an article about truancy laws:
More than 1,600 parents—most of them mothers—have been jailed in Berks County since 2000 for failure to pay truancy fines. In Pennsylvania, truancy is defined as more than three days of unexcused absence from school. After that, kids and parents can be referred to court and fined $300 per additional unexcused absence, in addition to court costs...

Absence from school is an undeniable problem. We know it is correlated with lower grades, with dropping out of high school, and with trouble with the law. What is less certain is if treating truancy as a crime addresses these underlying issues in an effective and reasonable way. Such interventions have not been proven to increase school attendance or decrease long-term criminal behavior. In fact, the criminalization of truancy often pushes students further away from school, and their families deeper into poverty. Lots more at the link.


  1. To isolate a child from his classmates like this for being late is cruel and humiliating. In my area this kind of treatment would border on professional misconduct. Is it any wonder the child might want to avoid school. It suggests his teacher has some serious issues.


  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UjpmT5noto

    The state is a "gang of thieves writ large — the most immoral, grasping and unscrupulous individuals in any society" - Murray Rothbard.

    “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.” - Lysander Spooner

    "congressmen, presidents, and Supreme Court judges do not and cannot acquire their positions accidentally. Rather, they reach their position because of their proficiency as morally uninhibited demagogues. Moreover, even outside the orbit of government, within civil society, individuals will increasingly rise to the top of economic and financial success, not on account of their productive or entrepreneurial talents or even their superior defensive political talents, but rather because of their superior skills as unscrupulous political entrepreneurs and lobbyists. Thus, the Constitution virtually assures that exclusively dangerous men will rise to the pinnacle of government power and that moral behavior and ethical standards will tend to decline and deteriorate over all." - Hans Herman Hoppe

  3. Whether they want to admit it or not, mom has a problem. It is a shame the child is paying the price.
    I am someone who has always struggled with being on time and the root of my problem is that I try to do too much with too little time.
    Mom needs to step back and look at what she can do to get the family where they need to be. It is a shame there is not another child nearby and their parent could help on days the family car does not start. Other than that, mom needs to wake everyone up earlier and leave earlier.
    An education is important. The school also needs to recognize that this a parent problem and not a child problem. As a retired teacher, I gave homework. However, I never let a homework grade pull a student's grade down; because, it was also a home life grade which a child has no control over. When a child never had their homework, I recognized that there was something lacking in the home.

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  4. Yes, mom has several problems, they are outlined in the article. She lives too close to the school to have her child bused. She lives on a busy street and her child can't walk to school (and odds are that she'd probably be referred to social services if she sent him to walk to school alone). She suffers from osteoporosis which makes it difficult for her to function. She has a three-year old. And she has a car that is unreliable in the winter and likely can't afford a better one.
    Mom has the additional problem of being average, not extraordinary. We shouldn't punish kids for that. We should try and help them.

  5. As NoPolitician points out, most of Mom's problems have to do with things that would not be problems in a sane society.

    I also live in a town that doesn't provide bus service to children who live within a mile of the school, and yet does not provide -- for instance -- sidewalks on most roads. This is a town of working class people, not one in which every neighborhood is filled with parents staying home with their kids, parents who have the leisure to organize carpools or supervised walks to and from school.

    My kid is sixteen now, and we -- luckily -- live two miles from the high school, so that she qualifies for bus service. But when she was in grammar school, it was a struggle finding ways to be sure that one of us was always available to drop her off (at eight) and pick her up (at three). Those are not working-parent friendly hours.

    Yes, it's the parents' problem. But it's not one created by the parents. It's one created by a social structure which seems to believe that all families have the resources to keep an adult at home, doing nothing but ferrying children around and running errands. That's just not the world most of America lives in.


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