School Considers Fines for Absences
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Some parents in Connecticut may re-think letting their kids stay home from school. The school has proposed a $75 fine every time kids miss school to help curb truancy.
Jason Lapierre says he’s seen the empty chairs in his classes. He thinks the stiff fine may help prevent absences.
“The fine may actually do it,” he said.
A new superintendent has been in charge for about a month and he’s going after the problems hard.
“It’s not fair to pay $75 every time these kids don’t want to go to school,” said parent Jose Felix. “Some of these mothers barely have a car to bring them to school and then $75, $75?”
Some of the neighbors complain that the kids are causing trouble. The complaints include stopping cars in traffic as well as selling drugs and graffiti. One neighbor who lives close by said a lot of students skip class and hang out on a stone wall in the area. She said another big problem with truancy is litter in the yards.
“If they’re walking here, they litter. I find homework, I find books,” said neighbor Markesha Gonzalez. “I found an Anne Frank book in my yard. I kept it, because my kids are going to need Anne Frank.”
Gonzalez said there were two large fights across from her home last year. A female student event threatened her and ended being taken away by police.
“She actually did send me a “I’m sorry” letter,” Gonzalez said. “The judge made her do that, and literally, if she was in high school, the writing seemed like she was in third grade.”
It’s possible that if students can’t afford to pay, there could be a community service option. The plan still has to be looked at by the aldermen.