Truancy

Truancy

[troo-uhn-see]
Truancy is any intentional unauthorized absence from compulsory schooling. The term typically describes absences caused by students of their own free will, and usually does not refer to legitimate "excused" absences, such as ones related to medical conditions. The term's exact meaning differs from school to school, and is usually explicitly defined in the school's handbook of policies and procedures.

It may also refer to students who attend school but do not go to classes.

Beyond the effect that missed schooling may have on a student's educational attainment, truancy may indicate more deeply embedded problems with the student, the education system, or both. Truancy is commonly associated with juvenile delinquency. In some schools, truancy may result in an ineligibility to graduate or to receive credit for class attended, until the time lost to truancy is made up through a combination of detention, fines, or summer school.

Truancy is a frequent subject of popular culture; perhaps most famously Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which is entirely about the titular character's (played by Matthew Broderick) day of truancy in Chicago with his girlfriend and best friend. Truancy is also the title of a 2008 novel about a student uprising against a dictatorial educational system.

List of slang expressions

There are, internationally, a number of expressions in English which refer to truancy. In Australia truancy is called wagging and/or jigging. It is called skiving in England, bunking in India and doggin' in Scotland and mitching in Ireland. In the United States and Canada expressions include (playing) hookey, ditching, pipping off, skipping or cutting class.

Dealing with truancy

In the United Kingdom, a police officer who suspects a child of the correct age to be deliberately missing school for no legitimate reason has the power to take that child to the school he or she is supposed to attend. Failure to secure regular school attendance of a registered pupil is a criminal offence for parents.

In the United States, many states provide for the appointment of local truancy officers who have the power to arrest habitually truant youths and bring them to their parents or to the school they are supposed to attend. It is an office which, where it exists, is often held by a person also a constable or sheriff. However, the position of a full-time truancy officer is generally viewed as being a relic from the 19th century when mandatory school attendance was relatively new. Truancy regulations today are generally enforced by school officials under the context of parental responsibility.

In Germany, the parents of a child absent from school without a legitimate excuse are notified by the school. If the parents refuse to send their child to school or are unable to control their child, local child services or social services officers may request the police to escort the child to school, and in extreme cases can petition a court to partially or completely remove child custody from the parents. Parents may also be fined in cases of refusal.

In Denmark some welfare benefits can be confiscated for a period if the child does not attend school. However, not all cities use this approach to keep the children in school . Most cities watch for families who have not returned their children to school after the summer vacation because some groups exiled their children to their ethnic home countries for behavior modification. In the city of Aarhus, 155 children had not turned up one week after the school started .

See also

References

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