Getting tough on truancy

Who else thinks the Nats’ plan to fine parents up to $3000 if their kids wag school is preposterous?

I hope that like the current law it’s one of those things that goes ignored – apparently it’s $1500 max at the moment, but who ever enforces that?

$3000 is ridiculous. It’s excessive, it would put a dent in basically anyone’s budget, and odds are the families of repetitive truants aren’t well off. They can’t, and won’t pay $3000. If you’re living week to week, aren’t saving for retirement, struggle when your car needs registering every six months, or breaks down, you’re not going to have a spare $3000 sitting around to part with. Blood from a stone, and all that.

While I totally believe in strong parenting – it’s your choice to have kids, you and you alone need to look after them, if you can’t provide the necessities of life, you shouldn’t have had them – and instilling good values and work ethic, the fact is your children are not you. You can’t control them. You can try. You can do your best by your kids, but sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you want. There are limits to what you are responsible for. If your 16 yo stole a car, went for a joyride and totalled it, injuring or killing someone else in the process, would you be held responsible for reparations?

Frankly I think there are worse things than skipping school and certainly more important social issues for our govt to focus on. The economy. Serious crime. You know the kind of thing I mean.

Some kids are just out of control, and fining their parents is completely unjust, unwarranted and will achieve nothing. I don’t know what those kids need. Discipline, obviously. Maybe boot camp is appropriate there. But you can’t hold parents reponsible for absolutely everything. Some people can be reached, and they can be redeemed. Others fall through the cracks and some are too far gone to help.

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