Truancy: Today's Dilemma

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Truancy today is a dilemma that has reached epic proportions. According to the Manual to Combat Truancy, “Truancy is a gateway to crime. High rates of truancy are linked to high daytime burglary rates and high vandalism,” (U.S. Department of Education, 1996). While truancy itself is only a status offense, it is a central common link associated with many other problems. These links include behavioral problems (Gresham, Lane, and Lambros, 2000), dropping out of school (Hunt & Hopko, 2009), future criminal activities, family problems and drug use (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001), a predictor for lack of employment and welfare (U.S. Department of Education, 1996) and even homelessness (Babb, Haezewindt, & Martin, 2004). Armed with the above knowledge, communities and governments worldwide try to contemplate what preventative measures to use to prevent truancy from spiraling even more out of control and leading to increased juvenile delinquency. There are many approaches to combating truancy with some being punitive and some being preventative. While many programs in the United States exist to help reduce truancy, one of the first, Communities in Schools, has shown very positive results in reducing truancy and with scholastic achievement. This type of community-based program differs drastically from other attempts tried worldwide. To state that truancy has reached epic proportions may sound like an exaggerated statement, but one merely need look at their own residential statistics to see this is indeed a reality. Truancy not only diminishes a juvenile’s education, but also is a dynamic that leads to dropping out of school (Hunt & Hopko, 2009). In Bexar County, Texas in 2008 to 2009 officials stated the school attrition rat... ... middle of paper ... ...dicting High School Truancy Among Students in the Appalachian South. Journal of Primary Prevention, 30(5), 549-67. Truancy: How do countries compare? (Saturday, 5 February, 2005, 13:20 GMT). BBC News/Education. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/4238687.stm Truancy timeline: 1997-2009, (Wednesday, 11 February 2009, 11:33 GMT). BBC News/Education. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/7851787.stm Truant Does Time, (Thursday, 8 February 2007). Spiegel Online International News. Retrieved from http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,465077,00.html U.S. Department of Education, 1996. Manual to Combat Truancy. (1996). Washington DC. U.S. Department of Justice. The 8% Solution, 2001. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs. Washington, D.C.
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