Bill Would Punish Parents For Kids Missing School
Supporters Say It Will Encourage Parental Responsibility
Last Updated: 770 days ago
A push to punish parents who allow their children to miss too many days of school is gaining momentum at the Statehouse.An amendment added as part of Republicans' push for educational reform would make it easier to prosecute parents on charges of educational neglect, 6News' Joanna Massee reported.Supporters say the measure would help increase parental responsibility."Anytime we use the word accountability in education, we often hear the argument, what are you doing to hold families accountable?" said Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett."We're serious about making sure students are in the classroom," said Rep. Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis. "If they're not there, they're not going to be able to learn." But some parents are worried the legislation would unfairly target those who work outside the home, particularly single-parent families."I would be infuriated if I was going to be prosecuted knowing what kind of mom I am," said Cathy Tawney, who's raised six children. "I've been basically single mom and worked full time ever since I was in my 20s. I've had a couple of my children that tried the truancy thing, and I had to punish them because of that."Marti Moore, who also works outside the home, said she believes some parents need a push, but she sympathized with those who struggle to keep their children in school."Parents can try and try to make those kids go to school and get on that bus, but once they leave the house, outside of quitting a job or something, it gets tough," Moore said. "I had a teenage daughter that wanted to skip school on me after I went to work. I was a good mom. I was involved. We got over it."Officials with the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council said very few parents are prosecuted for educational neglect. They believe the proposed law would likely work best as a tool to prompt parents into action.