Monday, May 08, 2006
News staff writer
Syleria Matthews lives two blocks from Erwin Elementary School. Yet, 16 times this school year she rolled up to the school doors to drop off her 9-year-old son after 7:55 a.m., when the tardy bell rings.
Matthews wasn't surprised when she recently received a letter from the Jefferson County School System ordering her to attend Jefferson County Family Court's Early Warning program for truancy. She expects any day now to receive the same letter because of her 7-year-old son, who attends a different school and also has been late too many times.
If the pattern continues, Matthews and about 30 other parents were cautioned at a recent Early Warning session, they may do time behind bars. The news prompted more eye rolls than jaw drops, but it's no empty threat.
With attendance tied to state and federal annual progress requirements, schools are increasingly handing bad attendance cases to the courts.
Now, hang on just a damn minute.
1. The public school system and the courts DO NOT OWN OUR CHILDREN!
2. It cannot possibly be saving anyone any money to drag parents into court and then jail them because their kids are late to school. Court costs money. Jail/prison costs $12,000 a year. We don't even spend that per pupil.
3. This is yet ANOTHER one of the reasons that public schools should be privitized.