Last Monday was the first day of the new school year. It is estimated that 800 kids will be in attendance this year, but as of Monday only 400 were enrolled and only 300 actually showed up.
Enter Lawrence Township Trustee Mike Hobbs and his solution to the problem:
Parents of truant John Marshall High School students will find it difficult to collect financial aid from the Lawrence Township trustee's office if their kids don't get to class.
Trustee Mike Hobbs said he would stall poor relief payments to guardians of children who are supposed to be attending John Marshall's early-start school year, but aren't.
By Wednesday morning, he had put holds on two such cases.
With no magical solution to this problem, one man decided he would try something drastic. Amazingly, there has been some improvement in attendance by the week's end.
But this is not where the story ends. According to a local radio talk show host that usually gets good information out on the reporting trail, the Indiana Civil Liberties Union has threatened legal action against Hobbs if he makes good on his promise.
We already have protected classes galore, in this country. But now, we have Indiana's version of the ACLU calling the poor a protected class. But somehow in all of this, I just cannot help but think the ICLU has missed the point here.
If we are ever to have any hope for children to get out of that sense of hopelessness/despair that our liberal friends say causes so many problems (to include crime), getting their asses into the classroom has to be the beginning of such an undertaking.
This alone will not be the only component to solving this problem, but it has to start somewhere. And while many of the schools are on the wrong path to educating our children, attendance is not the responsibility of the schools. It is the responsibility of the parents to make sure their kids are where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there. And if parents disagree with the way schools are educating their kids, one must ask: How many school board meetings they have attended and what kind of school board members have they voted for in the past?
In the end, No Child Left Behind may turn out to be a dismal failure. From what I have seen so far, it hasn't been overly successful so far. But this isn't too surprising when you consider, nothing that comes from the federal government has ever been shown to be very effective. Certainly, this program is no different. If we want to trace the current set of problems in the schools today, just go back to the creation of the Department of Education and work your way forward. Do the math and you will see.
Still, this is no excuse for not attending. True, there may be little hope for Johnny getting a quality education and getting out of the cycle of poverty, as it stands now. But that hope index drops to zero if he is at home, sleeping in until noon, playing video games and watching Jerry Springer on TV.