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  • Ryan McClain

Compulsory Education Laws (Truancy Laws) are Outdated, Barbaric, and Need to be Abolished.

Updated: Sep 18, 2019



The only goal which Compulsory Education laws serve to achieve is to control your child's life, and to make your child a slave to the state. Yes, our children should stay in school, it is important that as role models for our children that we insist our children receive a proper education. However., at the end of the day, should it really be the job of state governments to ensure that our children stay in school? It should be the job of the parent to ensure our children stay in school. The government playing the role of the nanny only results in less freedom for you as the parent and more institutionalized trauma for your student.


Still don’t believe that truancy laws are outdated and barbaric? Take out your old dictionary and look at the original meaning of the word "truant," which is derived from the French term "truand," which translates into terms such as "parasite, delinquent" (https://ce4less.com/Tests/Materials/E127Materials.pdf) and other abhorrent terms. We should not be referring to our youth as such. Especially if we as a nation wish to see our youth not only succeed, but trust our role models as well.


As a not too long ago high school graduate myself (class of 2017), I saw far too often where truancy laws only served to affect those students who were suffering from some sort of mental distress such as Depression, Anxiety, and bullying. I watched friends be threatened with the cold arm of the law for "missing school," when the reason those students were absent from school was that they attempted suicide the week prior to the legal threat. I watched as fellow students were legally punished and threatened with imprisonment simply for trying to escape bullying, an issue far too often looked over by school districts of whom are fearful of getting a "bad report card" from the state.


To prove my concern, a study from the Center for Developmental Epidemiology found that “Pure anxious school refusal was associated with depression and separation anxiety disorder” (Egger HL, Costello EJ, Angold A. School refusal and psychiatric disorders: a community study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003;42(7):797–807.) In that same study, it was found that “of mixed school refusers (children with both anxious school refusal and truancy), 88.2% had a psychiatric disorder.” (Egger HL, Costello EJ, Angold A. School refusal and psychiatric disorders: a community study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003;42(7):797–807.) The same study also found that even in the case of pure truancy, either a defiance disorder or Depression was a factor. According to the study, “pure truancy was associated with oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and depression” (Egger HL, Costello EJ, Angold A. School refusal and psychiatric disorders: a community study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003;42(7):797–807.) This means that even with pure truancy, there is still an underlying cause of which the child should not be punished for.


In conclusion, school Truancy Laws cause more harm than good, especially towards those students who suffer from psychiatric problems such as Depression and Anxiety. It’s time we do away with compulsory education laws.


Sources:

Egger HL, Costello EJ, Angold A. School refusal and psychiatric disorders: a community study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2003;42(7):797–807


https://ce4less.com/Tests/Materials/E127Materials.pdf

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