School truancy called child abuse

Too many children are not in school where they should be, writer says.

Have you noticed lately an ever increasing number of school age children at the malls during regular school hours? I have. These children can also be found on the street and at the local parks and recreation centres during the day when they should be either at home doing their home schooling or at school. I believe that we, as a society are in trouble if these youngsters aren’t receiving the education that they have right to. I know that in the past an education was compulsory for all children in Canada up to the age of 16. Is this still the case? If not it should be. If it is in fact compulsory, why is it that these children are able to miss out on their schooling. Is it parent neglect? If so I would call it abuse. Where’s the accountability? At one time parents who failed to meet this obligation lost social assistance. Do they now? Is anyone looking out for these children? It doesn’t appear so. There used to be truant officers and attendance was always a critical part of report cards. Teachers know that if a student misses too much school they cannot learn and progress. I’m aware of children here in Chilliwack who are missing way too much school because parents can’t be bothered getting them up and off to school each morning. This is unacceptable.

We are looking at a segment of our society that won’t be able to find work or ever be self sufficient. It’s inevitable that they will become burdens on society through no fault of their own. However there is fault and it’s considerable fault in that the adults who chose to have these children are abdicating their parental responsibility. We will all pay the price for this neglect. These children will pay and so will we.

Surely something needs to be done.

From what I’ve been told after looking into this, home schoolers are not supervised by certified teachers, not required to meet provincial standards, not inspected by the Ministry of Education and to all intents and purposes can pretty much do as they please. Why are we allowing this to happen. If as rumour suggests FVDE shuts down we could have an even larger number of children left with little if any education.

As a career educator in the public school system and as a citizen, I am both shocked and dismayed by what I am seeing. I see it as nothing less than child abuse and a serious consequence for our Canadian society.

Ken Bramble,

Chilliwack

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