A new law in Ohio says students can no longer be expelled or suspended for missing an excessive number of school days.
It passed 90 days ago, and already the superintendents in Belmont County‘s school districts have met to discuss it.
Bellaire Schools have a 6-percent absentee rate already.
They say, sadly, it’s almost a tradition.
“Student attendance here in the Bellaire School District certainly is a challenge, and has been for a considerable amount of time. There are school districts here in Belmont County and in the rest of the valley where attendance is not as much of a challenge, and God Bless ’em,” said Bellaire Superintendent Darren Jenkins.
So when Ohio passed a law saying students can’t be expelled or suspended for missing excessive school days, it didn’t help.
“You know I gave up a long time ago trying to speculate on why certain things happen in Columbus,” Jenkins said.
But the law does not mean you can skip school constantly and still slide thru graduation.
It won’t happen.
Jenkins said there are graduation requirements you have to meet, or you don’t graduate.
“The simple fact of the matter is a student that is habitually truant or tardy is not going to meet those criteria for graduation,” Jenkins said.
That student will, on the other hand, meet the juvenile judge.
Truancy will be a court issue, instead of a school issue.
Jenkins said schools prepare kids for adult life, and a big part of adult life is getting up and showing up.
Students who are chronically truant or tardy will be turned over to the juvenile court system, which will deal with both the student and their parents.