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  1. #1
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    May 2005
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    Absentee Hotline place in the schools

    Kyron's case has just made me crazy about school safety. I found this information on a grammar school in New Jersey. Its really a wonderful idea. Here's how they handle it. I wonder if we could start some kind of campaign to get all schools to do thisl
    Absentee Hotline
    In the event that a parent hasn’t called in to report
    their child as absent, we at the school will attempt to
    contact the parents at home or their place of employment.
    If that fails to provide an answer to the child’s
    whereabouts, the emergency number provided by the
    parents will be tried. If each of these attempts fail,
    the police will be notified.
    Parents are requested to please notify the school
    each time their child is absent. A missing child is
    serious business

  2. #2
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    This a great idea! But I think it may not have helped in Kyron's case if TH told the teacher he was going to be absent or if the teacher thought that is what TH said. I think this policy would be great coupled with one in which all absences must be reported to the main office and the main office must log all reports of absences in a log made just for that purpose, with the time and date of the report, the name of the party who made the report, whether it was in person or via phone and the dates and/or times of the proposed absence. The office would then bear the burden of reporting to the teacher, sub and/or any on-site daycare. That may have helped in Kyron's case. No more confusion about who said what and when.
    For Travis Alexander, a human being.


    *Gitana (means "Gypsy girl"). Pronounced "hee tah nah."

  3. #3
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    Aug 2003
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    I do think that schools and parents should take a more serious approach (one of the 3 schools I'm involved with only leaves a message at the first number, but doesn't keep trying so...what good is that?). However, I do fear that if LE are called multiple times a year (month, week?) because of forgetfulness, then it will cease to be a true "emergency" even when it is one.

    Kudos to this school for putting kids' safety first. It will be interesting to see how long it plays out.

    As we have seen in Kyron's case, human judgment often plays a role in this. A smart kidnapper would use this to his/her advantage. A chaotic day, or the first day back to school after a child has been out sick a few days (when the school is likely to assume that the child is merely still sick but mom forgot today) could be all the opportunity one needs. And if it is followed to the letter, even when human judgment indicates it isn't necessary, we'll have parents tracked down and complaining that no one in schools have any common sense anymore (as in zero tolerance for weapons policies).

    Watching with interest.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2010
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    I think people would be shocked at how many elementary schools around the country do NOT have an automated call system for absent kids or like it's mentioned here, they don't try very hard to reach a live adult...just leave a message.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2009
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    I didn't realize that all schools in the country weren't doing this. It's been routine in most of New England for at least 10-15 years.
    Opinions expressed are strictly my own (who else would they belong to???)

  6. #6
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    Just an aside, but school call systems aren't in place as an emergency safety measure. They're in place to prevent truancy and increase funding. That's why skyline school said they didn't have a call system in place because they didn't have a truancy problem, imo

    Call systens are *marketed* to parents as being about the welfare of the children to foster compliance, but really have almost nothing to do with anything but maintaining funding and keeping jobs. While an open school with lots of federal funding is, ultimately, good for the children, the motives behind school call systems are not all altruistic, and certainly not about safety. Again, imo.

    snip~

    Kyron was marked as absent from his first class but school officials did not immediately inform his parents, saying truancy was not an issue at the small school.

    http://www.katu.com/news/local/95808084.html

    State funding for districts is heavily based on the number of students who attend classes.

    “All districts will think of ways to boost attendance, particularly during tough financial times,” said Robert Miyashiro, vice president of School Services of California, a Sacramento-based firm that advises districts. “It's a strategy that a lot of districts are probably thinking now.”

    What some local districts are doing in response:

    In recent years, Grossmont has hired dropout prevention specialists who regularly make wake-up calls and home visits, and it has created a student attendance review board to refer habitual truants to the courts if they break agreements to go to school. The district is focusing on ninth-graders and also is signing up more seniors who fail to graduate, and it plans to beef up its alternative education programs.

    This fall, San Diego Unified plans to introduce an automated call system to inquire about absences. For years, the district has run a campaign to provide tips on getting to school on time and not missing classes.


    snip~

    What some local districts are doing in response:

    This fall, San Diego Unified plans to introduce an automated call system to inquire about absences. For years, the district has run a campaign to provide tips on getting to school on time and not missing classes.


    http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/new...9-1n21ada.html

    here are links to a couple of other papers about it:

    teach.valdosta.edu/are/Litreviews/vol1no1/williams_litr.pdf

    http://www.indiana.edu/~educy520/sec...k_1/helm89.pdf

  7. #7
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    There may be some truth to your comments, but since our systems were installed after a girl was abducted while walking to school, I don't think truancy is always the biggest factor.
    Opinions expressed are strictly my own (who else would they belong to???)

  8. #8
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    When I was in high school our system would automatically call parents if we missed school for any reason to make sure they knew. That was thirty years ago.

    But they have never done that the past ten years while my own kids were in school - the program was cut out due to budget restrictions and lack of personnel.

    It's a good idea, though.

    I'm the proud mother of a new attorney!
    It's better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. ~ James Thurber
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing ~ Edmund Burke
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
    There may be some truth to your comments, but since our systems were installed after a girl was abducted while walking to school, I don't think truancy is always the biggest factor.
    Yes, hardly anything is always and never...as I tell my kids all the time when they say *you're always so mean, and you never let us do anything.* lol I didn't mean to say it's always the case. But I do think, at least these days, that the funding aspect is the primary motivating factor in most cases.
    I could be wrong about this, but I think I've read that it has something to do with the implementation of no child left behind. I don't recall how long ago that went into place.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wondering1 View Post
    Just an aside, but school call systems aren't in place as an emergency safety measure. They're in place to prevent truancy and increase funding.
    Even if this is true, the safetyeasure they provide is a very good thing.
    "Don't forget the kangaroo!"


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoppyfrog View Post
    Even if this is true, the safetyeasure they provide is a very good thing.
    What I don't like is how the schools lead or allow parents to believe they're not motivated by funding and liability issues. I prefer that they call a spade a spade -- just on principle. If safety and not funding were the motivation in this case, for example, the system might have been in use already when Kyron went missing. It wasn't in place because the schools funding was not in jeopardy due to truancy. I noticed right away that the spokesperson didn't say the system wasn't in place because they'd never had a missing child before, even though that's probably also true.

    Personally, I don't fault the school for that. But I can imagine that in a lawsuit, say one directed at the school for Kyron's disapparance, an admission that financial considerations were the school's primary motivation for determining whether to use the call system wouldn't play too well. jmoo

  12. #12
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    Apr 2010
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    In my childrens school, if they were going to be absent or leave during the day, I had to call a hotline and let them know before school was in session.

    If they had a DR appt. and were to leave during the day I had to also go to the attendance office and sign them out and they then called their teacher to let them know to send them out to the attendance office to meet me.
    Praying for Kyron. He needs to be with his loving family.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
    I didn't realize that all schools in the country weren't doing this. It's been routine in most of New England for at least 10-15 years.
    Nope, not at my sons middle school. If I didn't call it, the school never called me -- and they had all my numbers. Sometimes I didn't get round to calling until the afternoon!

    That's California though - so go figure.

    Mel

  14. #14
    I feel if Kyron had to be signed out of school via the office on the day for a Dr's appnt., that would have been better than all the verbal confusion about the so called appnt. in this case. Then it would have been documented as to who had signed him out that day. Other than that, i think it has to be up to parents to let the school know if their child is to be absent on any particular day, and that to be called in in the morning. If a child's parent hasn't called in about a child's absenteeism, then i feel the parent should be notified by the school, especially for younger aged school children anyway.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
    I didn't realize that all schools in the country weren't doing this. It's been routine in most of New England for at least 10-15 years.
    We moved from Mass last year, and I was amazed to discover that the school here most definitely does not want the parents to call if a child is absent.

    The parent writes a note for the kid to take to the attendance office. If the kid forgets to deliver the note within 5 days, the absence is unexcused. Four unexcused absences a year and the parent is taken to court and fined for the child's truancy. The fine for a first offense is $300.

    Meanwhile, if the kid is missing, the school doesn't know it and doesn't care. It's a totally different world than exists in New England, in my experience.
    My posts contain my opinions only.

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