2014-06-25 / Letters

Reader comments on RISD truancy problem

I read with interest the article on school truancy at RISD. It seems to me that this is not a local problem but a universal one. When I was in the work force in a supervising position, I was faced with the situation of employees taking a extra day before or after a holiday or a long weekend. It was hard to dismiss employees because of the protection offered them by the work union.

The company’s solution to this was to build a case against the employee by documenting each occurrence. This was added to their annual appraisal. If the trend continued, the employee was place on disciplinary action which led up to and included dismissal.

I like the idea of presenting the parents with a letter but not to present the “ pros and cons,” but to inform them about the steps that will be taken to eliminate truancy. Parents need to not only know, but understand that the ultimate responsibility is theirs and that they will be held accountable. Not only held accountable but that the school district and judges will enforce the law and make no exception because once you make an exception you open the floodgates.

Perhaps a curfew during school hours for all children between the ages mentioned is a good idea. Not only should law enforcement officers stop and question them but ordinary citizens should also question them. If the child does not have a good excuse, the police should be called. If the members of the community are so concerned about the problem, this is the simplest way for them to be involved.

As a last point, I really don’t know or believe there a single citizen in Willacy County or anywhere for that matter, who has $5,000 a day the RISD loses because of truancy to allow his/her kid to stay home because they don’t feel like getting out of bed or want to stay home to play video games. Parents need to be aware of where their children are at all times. Like the old commercial used to say, “Do you know where your children are?”

Respectfully,
Tom SaldaƱa

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