Truancy in Our School's: A Growing Problem

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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
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Absent students perceived their families to be less cohesive than the regular attendees, felt fewer acceptances by their parents, and their parental discipline was inconsistent and ineffective. Other findings from the study suggest that absent students were less likely to perceive school experiences favorably, felt inferior academically, experienced family conflict, and were less likely to be socially competent in their relations in class. Family problems were unlikely to be confined to the home and spilled over into the school, affecting student 's concentration, grades, and relationships with teachers and classmates (Corville-Smith, Ryan, Adams, & Dalicando, 1998). Benda (1987) supports that parental values and ambitions play a large role in children 's school attendance and that a supportive family is the most important source of a child 's attitude toward school attendance.

Baer (1999) indicates that the transition from childhood to early adolescence consists of major changes in a number of psychosocial dimensions. Pubertal timing and the degree of change such as the transition to junior high school bring a heightened potential for problems such as use of drugs and alcohol, the increase of school drop out, decline in academic motivation, and decreased interest in school generally. During this time of change the student is in need of being supported by all those involved with them. The author discussed how students making the transition to junior high school
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