Truancy doesn’t always mean naughty and lazy

Something I like to talk about is my history in high school. Generally, if a high school student ends up missing a class or a day of school without explanation, one or more detentions are given, sometimes during school, sometimes before or after. However, high schools should not provide a punishment for every unexplained absence. Some unexplained absences are justified and shouldn’t be defined as otherwise.

In Grade 9, I was behind with answering questions on To Kill a Mockingbird and English was not giving me time in-class to do so. At school I had and still have a desire to do work. When I’m at home I usually have the desire to lie down and slack after a full day. During my first two months, I overheard people talk about cutting class, so, assuming it was okay if I were doing actual work, I got to work in the hallway.

Schools tend to have quiet and more suitable work places for particular students to do assignments. For me, that was the hallway. I sped through 15 English questions in under half an hour, and then the school counselor caught me and I was let off with a warning that if I “skipped” again, that would mean detention. But I wasn’t skipping for fun. I needed the extra time and did better than I would’ve otherwise.

Of course, if there were less rules on truancy, would more students end up skipping? Probably. Some students create a habit of missing school, to the point where their parents can be charged fines if they have not shown an effort to keep their kids in attendance. We don’t want to allow students to not receive an education. If students cut classes on a weekly or even more constant basis without any comeuppance, then not only do they end up suffering, but so do their teachers. When a student skips class, the teacher generally has to take steps to make sure the student is caught up. Teenagers, however, don’t want to be in a place they always have to be monitored. Some schools even have truancy officers to ensure attendances. Teenagers love independence and some will take extra steps to keep theirs.

There are also times where a student feels they need an extra break. Teenagers, and everyone else, go through rough times in their lives and need the breathing room to think things through, and truancy rules should not get in the way of a person’s well-being. If a student is facing troubles, the knowledge that they are in charge of if they have to follow a schedule or not can make school seem more like a privilege than a rule. That way it won’t seem like authority figures are under their thumbs, which they hate.

High schools should put in less strict regulations about when a student can miss a class unexplained. As long as students do not use the right in order to completely ignore their learning, it would be beneficial.

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William juggles all sorts of skills and dreams in a panic to find what sticks: He's an author, movie and book reviewer, voice actor and YouTuber. He's also the journalist who retrieved Monster by Mistake, a 3D Canadian cartoon which went missing from the public for over 10 years. He is the author of the YA book The Blacktop Brothers and its four sequels, and has been reviewing movies and books weekly on his website, Weldon Witness, since 2014. His main hobbies are sleeping in, speeding through books, taking pride in every article, and entertainment journalism is his favourite