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  1. #1
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    Alabama Parents Can Be Fined If Kids Misbehave

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/10757276/detail.html

    Alabama Parents Can Be Fined If Kids Misbehave



    POSTED: 5:44 am EST January 16, 2007


    BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. -- According to a recently passed city ordinance, parents in Bayou La Batre can now be arrested and fined $100 for their children's misbehavior in school or excessive unexcused absences.

    State education officials say Bayou La Batre is the only city in Alabama to have such a policy, the Press-Register of Mobile reported on its Web site today.

    The ordinance affects about 3,000 students at four Mobile County public schools inside the city's limits: Booth Elementary, Dixon Elementary, Alba Middle and Alma Bryant High.

    Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright said the decision to use legal action is up to principals and none have gone that far yet.

    To start the process, a principal would fill out a form requesting a citizen's arrest. Then, the parent would be arrested but could avoid jail time by posting $500 bail. Eventually, the case would be heard in municipal court.

    The ordinance passed by a unanimous vote of the council in September and is taken directly from a section of the Alabama code concerning student attendance and behavior.

  2. #2
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    This has been going on in Texas for at least 10 years. My disabled husband was threatened with jail because our two high school teen girls decided to skip school several times after lunch. My daughters had jobs so they paid their own fines and I finally took them out of school to get their GEDs. While they were all in court, they heard arrest warrants being issued and $500 fines being given to people they went to school with. The city was raking in big bucks. If the school here decides to give fines for simple misbehavior, I am taking my grandkids out of school, too. So far, they just have "the mark" system for things as simple as forgetting a folder, and when they get too many, towards the end of the year at TAKS test time, they try and send little children to alternative schools.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by txsvicki
    This has been going on in Texas for at least 10 years. My disabled husband was threatened with jail because our two high school teen girls decided to skip school several times after lunch. My daughters had jobs so they paid their own fines and I finally took them out of school to get their GEDs. While they were all in court, they heard arrest warrants being issued and $500 fines being given to people they went to school with. The city was raking in big bucks. If the school here decides to give fines for simple misbehavior, I am taking my grandkids out of school, too. So far, they just have "the mark" system for things as simple as forgetting a folder, and when they get too many, towards the end of the year at TAKS test time, they try and send little children to alternative schools.
    I have received letters about my sons' absences. The oldest suffered from severe allergies and he had doctors excuses, but they would still send the policy letters about his "excessive" absences. Overall, I'm kind of on the fence if its a good idea or not. It just seems unfair to punish parent who ARE working to keep their kids in school vs those who don't care. From what I've seen here, most of the parents with kids who were skipping school really didn't have the money to pay the fines. One neighbor, a single mother, owed $1500.00 and was at her wits end with her son. He was just uncontrollable! She also had 3 very young children at home to care for.

  4. #4
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    I think the end result may well be that parents will pull their kids from school and that not all of these parents will bother to home school.

  5. #5
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    I think that the schools are fed up. This is a way to get the parents to take some responsibility. Would parents even know that kids are misbehaving or playing hooky otherwise? I am all for the fines if it helps the parents take some responsibility in raising their children. Pulling them out of school, IMO, is not the answer. Doing something to correct their behavior would be more productive for everyone involved.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SadieMae
    I have received letters about my sons' absences. The oldest suffered from severe allergies and he had doctors excuses, but they would still send the policy letters about his "excessive" absences. Overall, I'm kind of on the fence if its a good idea or not. It just seems unfair to punish parent who ARE working to keep their kids in school vs those who don't care. From what I've seen here, most of the parents with kids who were skipping school really didn't have the money to pay the fines. One neighbor, a single mother, owed $1500.00 and was at her wits end with her son. He was just uncontrollable! She also had 3 very young children at home to care for.
    How did he get uncotrollable?? It did not just happen.
    I agree that mostly those faced with this will not be able to afford it. I also think that parents should be held accountable for parenting. These children do no just "go wild" overnight.

  7. #7
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    I think it is a shame that the only way to get some parents to take responsibility for their children is to arrest or fine them.
    I've taught my kids to behave respectfully and responsibly. I expect that they will pay attention in class, do their best on their schoolwork, be nice to all the other kids and follow their teacher's instructions. They enjoy learning because we've raised them to value education.
    Now, being that they are only human of course they goof up once in awhile and when they do we talk about what they need to do to get back on track. I let them know that I am proud when they've made an extra effort to correct a problem such as forgetting homework or talking in class, whatever the problem may be.
    I don't think I'm trying to be some kind of perfect parent, just doing my part to prepare them to be responsible law-abiding adults. Shouldn't that be every parent's responsibility?
    So I say yeah, if parents let their kids get so out of control that they are a regular problem in school, fine them. If they pull their kids out of school because they are expected to show up on time and behave, that's one less distraction or danger to the ones who are there to learn.

    Susan

  8. #8
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    hipmamajen is offline I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft...
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    Bayou La Batre? Isn't that where Forrest Gump's friend Bubba was from? I love that movie...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGIRecovered
    ...If they pull their kids out of school because they are expected to show up on time and behave, that's one less distraction or danger to the ones who are there to learn.

    Susan
    This says it in a nutshell. Also, I think that it is state law that a child attends school until s/he is 16 years old. So, pull them out and get fined for that, too. Plus, pulling a child out of school instead of dealing with the problem shows a child once again that you don't have to go by the rules. This ultimately does the child a big disservice because s/he must learn to follow rules in a civilized society.

  10. #10
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    Go Nan!

    Teaching your children to be responsible in the first place will prevent them from seeing "being held responsible" as being punished. If you conduct yourself in an honorable manner, "being responsible" is something to be proud of!

    Susan
    Last edited by TGIRecovered; 01-17-2007 at 07:15 PM. Reason: fixed "Nana"


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hipmamajen
    Bayou La Batre? Isn't that where Forrest Gump's friend Bubba was from? I love that movie...
    I love that movie, too. However, I'm not sure my stepdaughter thought it was funny when I told her that she was attending Forrest Gump's alma mater.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amraann
    How did he get uncotrollable?? It did not just happen.
    I agree that mostly those faced with this will not be able to afford it. I also think that parents should be held accountable for parenting. These children do no just "go wild" overnight.
    No, his behavior did not happen overnight. I have seen her stay in school all day with this kid when he was in the 5th grade. It was always something that caused her heartache. She tried so many things to keep him on the right track, counseling, punishiments, you name it and nothing straightened him up. No problems with her other kids. Kid is 20 now and in jail.

  13. #13
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    I was spanked when I was lttle.
    Now, I said "spanked", not abused.
    It was so rare to see a kid whi really misbehaved back then.

    Of course, we didn't have all the stuff that ADULTS did to emulate.
    I think kids see the way adults behave and think they can get away with a lot of it.
    Look at the pervs, theives and other creeps in schools, companies, government and churches.
    Kids see this and see these as examples, no matter how bad they are.
    The kids then emulate it.
    Blaming the parents for all this is BS and unfair.

    babblebabblebabble.
    One body/several personalities

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SadieMae
    I have received letters about my sons' absences. The oldest suffered from severe allergies and he had doctors excuses, but they would still send the policy letters about his "excessive" absences. Overall, I'm kind of on the fence if its a good idea or not. It just seems unfair to punish parent who ARE working to keep their kids in school vs those who don't care. From what I've seen here, most of the parents with kids who were skipping school really didn't have the money to pay the fines. One neighbor, a single mother, owed $1500.00 and was at her wits end with her son. He was just uncontrollable! She also had 3 very young children at home to care for.
    That is horrible. Most people can't pay those sort of fines. The judge told my husband to go to school with them all day if necessary, but that is very hard for people who work or for disabled parents to manage. I don't know if they even allow community service instead of cash fines. I don't believe that they allow kids now to quit school at age 17 and get a GED like mine did. I've heard that they have to attend until age 18, but I suppose there is always home school. That might prevent more huge fines in cases of troubled teens like you mentioned. It clearly wasn't any fault of the boy's mother. My daughters have grown up just fine and never been in any other trouble, but taking them out was best for our situation since they were not getting scholarships or financially able to go to a university and live in a dorm. They went right on to the community college and had no trouble at all getting in.

  15. #15
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    My only worry is that the ones that don't care right now will use home schooling as a crutch. Or take them out of ps and not homeschool but say they are.

    We home schoolers get enough backlash from those that don't understand or agree as it is. The last thing we need is a bunch of people pushing governmental control on something that is working just fine as it is.

    Homeschooling is not something you jump into lightly, nor is it cheap like some think. It is def a lifestyle choice, not just an educational choice.

    I just don't think that parents who can't make their kids get out of bed and go anywhere will take the time to do hours of planning, searching for field trips, play days, co-ops, art days or do the huge amount of scheduling and paperwork it takes. That's on top of household duties, doctor visits, cooking and finding time to just be a family.

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