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WAMU: Report: Half Of DC High School Students Are Chronically Truant

March 9, 2015

Local NPR station 88.5 WAMU reports on the release of DC Lawyers for Youth and Children’s Law Center’s report on the District’s truancy policies. Children’s Law Center executive director Judith Sandalow is quoted commenting on the fact that truancy policies in DC don’t address the underlying causes of why children miss school.

When a student misses school in D.C., it triggers a series of interventions, starting with a call from a teacher. After 10 unexcused absences, the school notifies D.C. police. At 15 absences, the student is referred to family court.

“What the court can do is threaten to lock up a child if they don’t attend school. But that doesn’t answer the underlying problem that’s keeping the child from going to school,” says Judith Sandalow of the Children’s Law Center.

Read the full story and listen at the link below.