Our View: Absenteeism starts early

Wednesday , October 16, 2013 - 7:43 AM

Skipping school...

Editorial Board, Standard-Examiner

A recent study from the University of Utah, Utah Education Policy Center, hammers home the truth that parents have an awesome responsibility to make sure that they are functional enough to insure that children get to school. The study revealed that chronic absenteeism begins as early as kindergarten.

This is important because when children are 5 or 6 year old, it is not their responsibility to make it to the classroom. It is solely the responsibility of the parent or parents to get the youngster to school.

Nevertheless, according to the study, kindergarten is the grade with the second-highest rate of absenteeism, behind 12th grade, which tops the list.

There’s no excuse for parents or guardians to have a kindergartner with chronic absenteeism. That indicates dysfunctional behavior of the care-givers. To those who can’t get their charges to school at these early ages, get help. You are potentially causing damage to your child’s future.

Children learn patterns. They are susceptible to following what they observe and are taught in their lives. Chronic absenteeism, whenever it occurs, increases the chances of a child dropping out of school prior to completing high school. If a child fails to complete high school, or go on to post-secondary education, their earning power diminishes greatly as an adult. If they suffer from chronic absenteeism, they have already displayed a responsibility weakness that will hinder them as adults. What adult who loves a child would want prepare that sad legacy for the little one?

We are aware that parents face challenges, particularly if incomes are tight and the caregivers must work one or more jobs to keep the family doing well. We urge parents to talk to schools, and community organization, if they need help making sure their kids are in school. The children must be in school and avoid multiple days off. Their future is at stake.

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