Essay: Truancy is the first sign of trouble

Truancy Essay

Truancy Essay – In many neighborhoods across the United States, truancy is a significant concern. Compulsory schooling is governed by state legislation in every state. Noncompliance has consequences for the truant student’s parent(s) or guardian(s). The majority of states mandate children to attend kindergarten until they are at least 16 years old. According to the United States Department of Justice, 80 percent of those in custody were once truants. The percentage of juvenile criminals who began their criminal careers as truants is much higher, nearing 95%. Truancy is distinct from school phobia, which occurs when a person is unable to attend school due to fear. The first indicator that a young person is giving up and getting into trouble (Manual to Combat Truancy, 2002). Home office research found that 75% of boys and 50% of girls who are truant just once a week have already committed a criminal offense (Manual to Combat Truancy, 2002). Truancy is a reliable predictor of future delinquency and criminality. Research showed that truants were more than three times more likely to offend than non-truants. One study found that 78% of males and 53% of females who truanted once a week or more than once a week committed offenses (Manual to Combat Truancy, 2002). A Basic Skills Agency study of 500 convicted offenders in Shropshire found that 64% said they were habitual truants. The study also showed those students who have a poor attendance record were much more at risk of a custodial sentence than those with more positive reports. As we have seen, schools often have to deal with problems that should have been dealt with by families or by other public agencies.
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