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Should Kids Be Fined for Skipping School?

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emeryjl, flickr

You may already know some lucky kids are being rewarded with things like shoes, iPads and even cars just for showing up to school. But if they don’t, is it fair to fine them — and their parents?

In an effort to end high truancy rates, Kelt Cooper, the new superintendent of schools in New Britain, CT, wants to fine students $75 for every day they skip school.

The idea is now being considered by New Britain council members, and Phil Sherwood, aide to New Britain’s Mayor Timothy O’Brien, said his boss likes it.

“The mayor agrees that truancy is a real issue in New Britain schools,” Sherwood said. “What’s been done in the past hasn’t been working to increase attendance.”

And the plan isn’t unique. Districts in Ohio, California and Pennsylvania have also dinged kids monetarily for missing school, and across the pond in the UK, parents can be fined about $80 if their children are no-shows for classes — and the penalty doubles if it’s not paid within 28 days.

But one high school senior in New Britain called the proposal “ridiculous,” adding, “I don’t see the point. Kids will just try harder not to get caught.”


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