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Causes Of Truancy In Primary Schools And Its Educational Implication

2393 words - 10 pages

Truancy 1

Student truancy: Why should I go to school?
Kevin Floress
Indiana University

Truancy 2
Various school personnel, parents, community members, and juvenile justice officials
among others are consistently concerned with the issue of truancy in schools. Truancy
highly correlates to problem behaviors such as academic failure, dropping out of school,
and criminal behavior (Giacomazzi, Mueller, & Stoddard, 2006). Perhaps the most
pertinent question then is: What is causing students to be truant from school and what can
be done to improve school attendance? This report will begin by examining the
multifaceted implications of student truancy. After ...view middle of the document...

Implications of truancy
According to Fantuzzo, Grim, and Hazan (2005) truancy is a multidimensional
problem with far-reaching effects. When students are truant from school, they are not
only hurting themselves but also their families, their schools, and their communities
(McCray, 2006).
On an individual level, truancy is connected with a complex system of problems
such as emotional maladjustment, poor academic achievement, school dropout, substance
abuse, and teen pregnancy (Fantuzzo, Grim, & Hazan, 2005). Research indicates that a

Truancy 4
student’s academic performance is negatively impacted if they miss even 30 hours of
instructional time (Commentary, 2002). Not only is truancy highly correlated with low
levels of school achievement but also with high dropout rates. The individuals that
dropout from school are two-and-a-half times more probable to be on welfare, nearly
twice as likely to be unemployed, and on average will earn significantly lower wages
than adults who graduate (Commentary). To compound matters, truancy often leads to
delinquency and criminal activity (Garry, 1996). Truant students are at higher risk for
substance abuse and violence (McCray, 2006).
Not only does truancy affect individuals, it has implications that are felt at the
school-level. According to Garry (1996), schools with chronically truant students are
losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in state and federal funding. Oftentimes, this
funding is directly tied to the percentage of students in attendance. Furthermore, schools
are losing discretionary funds and the resources that come with these funds. In a causal
relationship, truant students are negatively affecting his or her peers through the loss of
funding (McCray, 2006). When students are absent, they are missing valuable
instructional time. When these students are asked to perform on state-wide assessments,
they are ill-prepared. As a result, poor student scores negatively affect the overall grade
of the school and limit a school’s opportunity for additional or even continuing funding
(Commentary, 2002).
At the community level, truancy is associated with delinquent behaviors that
range from vandalism to criminal violence. According to McCray (2006), truancy is
especially prevalent in urban settings with high rates of criminal activity. Several urban
law enforcement agencies have found a correlation between crimes committed during

Truancy 5
daytime hours and truancy. In short, when students are not in class, they are oftentimes
committing crimes such as vandalism, burglary, and shoplifting (Garry, 1996).
Even public and private businesses are affected by truancy. Oftentimes
individuals that have a history of truancies are not prepared to enter the workforce. As a
result, businesses either have to continue searching for more qualified applicants or have
to spend valuable time and money to train uneducated workers. Lastly, businesses are
negatively impacted when truant students burglarize or vandalize...

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