Tru­ancy leads to trou­bles

Eastern Courier - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CON­STA­BLE MERV HOT­TER, SCHOOL COM­MU­NITY OF­FI­CER

While I never en­joyed my time at school, there was not a day that I did not at­tend.

The lo­cal po­lice­man in my neck of the woods would have dragged me back to school, and told my par­ents, if he found me out of class and that was enough to keep me there.

It re­ally is frus­trat­ing to me that I see a num­ber of stu­dents wan­der­ing the streets when they should be at school.

Some have le­git­i­mate rea­sons for be­ing about, but most are just not at­tend­ing.

Tru­ancy and of­fend­ing go hand in hand, as demon­strated by a num­ber of youth files that pass over my desk, with that com­mon theme.

I read a re­cent ar­ti­cle on stuff.co.nz that there are around 29,000 stu­dents on any given day that are not at­tend­ing school, and 2300 are miss­ing from the school sys­tem through long-term tru­ancy. This is un­ac­cept­able, and while tru­ancy ser­vices do their best to get chil­dren to school, it’s ul­ti­mately up to par­ents to make sure their kids are at­tend­ing.

Are you aware that your child is at­tend­ing school? When they walk out the front door and set off to school do you know they’re ac­tu­ally turn­ing up?

Par­ents, I know you lead busy lives, but you must en­sure your child is go­ing to school ev­ery day.

En­sure the school has your day­time con­tact de­tails, so they can call or text you if your child is not there.

If you’re con­cerned your child may be tru­ant, ring the school to check. If your child is re­fus­ing to at­tend school find out why.

Legally, they must at­tend school un­til they’re aged 16.

Car­ing mem­bers of the com­mu­nity can also con­trib­ute to re­duc­ing tru­ancy. If you no­tice school-age chil­dren hanging out in a par­tic­u­lar area dur­ing school hours, tell some­one.

If they’re dressed in school uni­form, con­tact that par­tic­u­lar school or the po­lice.

We all know how bored chil­dren get at the best of times and by not be­ing at school this only cre­ates a greater chance of them get­ting into trou­ble.

It’s an old saying, but the chil­dren are the fu­ture, and if they’re not at­tend­ing school then the fu­ture looks pretty bleak.

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