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Truancy is the first sign that a youngster is giving up and losing his or her way. Research shows that students who become truant and eventually drop out of school put themselves at a long-term disadvantage in becoming productive citizens. Dropouts are more likely to be on welfare or unemployed than high school graduates. High truancy rates are also linked to high daytime burglary rates, vandalism, and juvenile gang activity. In some cities, unexcused absences can number in the thousands daily. Combating truancy is a way for communities to reach out quickly to disaffected young people and help families struggling with rebellious teenagers. This guide offers parents, school officials, law enforcement agencies, and communities a set of principles for designing their own strategies. Schools and communities are advised to involve parents in all truancy-prevention activities, adopt a zero-tolerance stance against truancy, create meaningful incentives for parental responsibility, establish ongoing truancy-prevention programs in school, and involve local law enforcement in truancy-reduction efforts. The guide also discusses model community truancy-prevention programs in Wisconsin, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Virginia, Ohio, and Arizona and lists federal government resources. (MLH)

Descriptors: Attendance, Community Programs, Delinquency, Dropouts, Elementary Secondary Education, Law Enforcement, Parent Participation, Police, Prevention, Productivity, Program Descriptions, School Responsibility, Truancy, Youth Problems for full text version.

Autor: Department of Justice, Washington, DC.; Office of Elementary and Secondary Education ED, Washington, DC. Safe and Drug Free School


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