Jailtime for truants

by Yule Heibel on August 6, 2003

So much for Canada’s liberalism. Two Ontario girls, both 15 years old, face jail time for …truancy from school. Un-be-f* * * ng-lievable. (My two kids haven’t gone to jail, er, I mean school, since June 2000, so naturally I’m biased.) If a 15-year-old is skipping school to the point that her authoritarian dimwit parents are willing to put her in jail, I say there’s something wrong with authority, with parents, with school, with society. Just my humble opinion of course.

The more privatized US has private boot camp for “kids like this,” but here in Canada, it seems the state lends a hand.

The two girls would be better advised to add these books to their reading list. Their parents, however, might already be too ossified in the head to learn new tricks.


Vernica August 6, 2003 at 4:42 pm

How frustrating! The policy of sending children to jail for truancy does not address the problem of why the children are not attending school in the first place. The point should not be to scare children into the classroom but to make education and learning (through school or an alternative setting) a positive experience. *sigh*

Yule Heibel August 6, 2003 at 5:01 pm

Agreed. I really wonder what went wrong in Ontario; hope it’s a fluke.

Amity August 7, 2003 at 9:08 am

Well if they carry through with this initiative, it will certainly drive up statistics linking lack of education with criminal record! I find this article sad. It’s distressing to read about the children who are so certain that education is not for them. Not that I think _school_ does have to be for everyone…I read Kendall Hailey’s “The Day I Became an Autodidact” back when I was a high school student, and although I certainly did not leave the organized school system (I’m _still_ in it, for goodness’ sake) I was inspired to expand my extracurricular education. I wish I knew what happened to that spunky, bright, curious and self-motivated teenager who took her education into her own hands. She’s just a little older than I am.

Yule Heibel August 7, 2003 at 8:59 pm

Something did go seriously wrong in this case, no kidding. And it’s just so “not Canada,” too, where bureaucracy tends toward the namby-pamby. But it could be the case that a couple of really anal-retentive teachers & administrators met up in time & space with a couple of really obnoxious kids and a couple of really stupid parents, and bingo-presto, someone came up with the brilliant plan to play the jail card. If someone had tried to do that to me when I was 15, I would have given them something real to lock me up for. Heh. Human rights for all, including “children.”

As for the spunky, bright, curious & self-motivated slightly older than teenaged person, I think she’s got a blog called Nature is Profligate or something like that! 🙂

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