Truancy- big idea
Reducing the number of truant children and adolescents can be a first step to keeping these kids away from a lifetime of unemployment, crime, and incarceration. This statement holds its premise in that truancy is associated with poor grades leading to truants failing to secure college places and consequently failing to get any form of employment.
Truancy according to Huizinga and Jacob-Chien (1998) is a student being absent from school three or more days without a legitimate and reasonable excuse. This is in a five day school week. Reduced consistency of attending classes often leads to most truants getting very poor grades. The students therefore result to delinquent behavior such as shoplifting, drug abuse, being involved in gang activities among others before resulting to more dangerous crimes and thus becoming a menace to the society as a whole.
Truancy has been linked with most crimes in the various states in the United States (US). A study by U.S Department of Justice and Drug use showed that about 67% of all juvenile cases were truants and that a large percentage of these, more than 50% were involved in drug and substance abuse (Huizinga & Jacob-Chien, 1998). Various state police departments are reporting that many day time crimes that involve car vandalism and other public unrest are due to these truants who have no meaningful job to do. The police claim that of all serious arrests, the large portion of the hardcore criminals was at one time truants.
It is imperative therefore to address this social ill as it costs tax payers a lot of money, both in terms of wasted education and maintenance of these truants as well as maintaining security. If the real causes of truancy can be identified and tackled, then the rate of truancy would reduce significantly thus producing competent people in the society. This would also auger well with both economic and social development as the would be truants would successfully go through their education and secure self sufficient employment.
All states should institute units to arrest all truants and put up institutions where these truants are counseled and rehabilitated. It is also imperative that teachers get to identify possible truants and identify their motives and then try their best to correct and motivate them to stay in school. Schools should also provide elaborate and fair grounds to avoid favoring some students. This would reduce truancy cases related to low self esteem. These among other strategies should be employed to reduce the rate of truancy cases in the country.
Huizinga, D., & Jacob-Chien, C. (1998). The contemporaneous co-occurrence of serious and
violent juvenile offending and other problem behavior. Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders: Risk Factors and Successful Interventions, 3, 55-58.