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Stop punishing parents for a child’s school absences 

Feb 29, 2016 by

John Florez – For some parents, “choice” has a different meaning — miss work and don’t put food on the table, or walk their child to school.

Instead of trying to punish parents for their children’s excessive school absence, we should try to understand how they struggle to hold their families together. And maybe we should praise their children who, in spite of their physical and emotional baggage, come to school when they can. That’s why passage of Utah’s SB45, to eliminate the penalty on parents for their children’s chronic school absence, is so important.

The children who make it to school are the survivors. They show perseverance, a hunger for knowledge and the gift of life. They show what the resiliency of the human spirit can do in spite of all odds. They come to school though overloaded with the “invisible baggage” they carry in their young lives. Because they seldom complain, some educators burdened by timelines and test scores, overlook them. And those that do see a kid in need of help, where do they turn to help them?

These are the kids who must endure the “invisible baggage” they carry on a daily basis — poverty, hunger, poor health, whether it be mental, physical or emotional, vision problems, toothaches, no clothing, cramped housing, homelessness and no transportation. They have no adults that can take them to or pick them up from school because they too are struggling to obtain the daily necessities to survive. They are parents who have lost jobs, they are single parents who hold two jobs, that have little time or energy to get their children ready for school, help them with their homework, or a car to take them to school.

Source: John Florez: John Florez: Stop punishing parents for a child’s school absences | Deseret News

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