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Truancy In Our School's: A Growing Problem

2362 words - 9 pages

The success of our schools performing its primary functions of teaching, educating, and socializing the young is predicted on regular school attendance. Truancy is rated among the major problems facing schools today (Garry, 1996). Schools in some larger cities have reported absenteeism rates as high as 50 percent per day (Allen-Meares, 2004). The issue of truancy compromises schools' primary function and places our young people at risk. According to the Bilchik, truant students have the potential to lead a lifetime of unemployment, crime, and incarceration (Garry, 1996).Truancy is often a symptom of a deeper problem. Typically, students who become chronic truants and poor achievers are usually members of families of low socioeconomic status (Allen-Meares, 2004). Students who are of a low socioeconomic status may inhibit a home environment that is less likely to be conductive for learning. There are many influences on truancy. Some of the possible influences are directed towards families that do not value education, education background of primary care taker, lack of parental involvement, inadequate social support from the family, negative relationship with parents, broken family, poor academic achievement, child unhappy at home, peer-group pressure, and students being bullied (Allen-Meares, 2004, DuBois, Eitel, & Felner, 1994, and Lin & McBride, 1996).When students are not in the classroom, they are missing out on valuable learning time. When one-fourth of all students miss almost one day a week, there is a problem with poor achievement. The absent student cannot learn effectively and the rest of the class will probably lose learning time when the teacher slows the pace to allow them to catch up. Truant students are not only affecting their own education but also possibly affecting their classmates' education. For many students, poor achievement is just the beginning of how truancy is impacting them. Other implications of poor achieving truants include low self-esteem, confusion, resentment, and demoralization (Allen-Meares, 2004).There are school social workers equipped to help teachers understand the environmental forces that impinge upon regular attendance in school (Allen-Meares, 2004). Social workers work from the ecological perspective, and are in a position to assist the student's school in understanding what their needs are in being motivated to be academically successful. Literature indicates that school social workers need to be saturating our youth in interventions to prevent truancy. Much of the literature on truancy focuses on middle and high school youth; a common theme identifies the attendance patterns of older students who did not begin in middle and high school but at a much younger age (Grootes & Faidly, 2002). It would be beneficial for youth to experience interventions for truancy heavily in elementary school.Absenteeism usually shifts at some point in a student's career, from being a symptom of a problem to...

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