Dec. 14 Editorial: Nipping truancy in the bud

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By The Staff

TOPIC: Curbing truancy

OUR VIEW: Helping parents, students connect to issue

Missing several days of school and several class assignments that may never get made up can have a huge impact on a student’s academic performance.

Count Division IV, 9th Circuit Family Court Judge M. Brent Hall  is among those in Kentucky trying to make sure students who have an absentee issue can get it resolved.

The Truancy Diversion Program’s intent is to catch and identify truancy issues at a key juncture in the lives of students. Modeled after the Jefferson County Family Court pilot program, Hall implemented the program at East Hardin Middle School last school year and is in the early stages of getting it going at West Hardin Middle School.

The program at West recently introduced students with three to 15 unexcused absences in the first four months of the school year, and their parents or guardians, to TDP.

The goal: Nip truancy in the bud.

Let’s face it: Any program that can steer students more and more into the classroom and away from too much idle time on their hands is a program that should be applauded.

Hall obviously gets it. As an elected judge, he’s not content with just maintaining things the way they are. He’s trying to make a difference in the lives of many.

We should have more elected officials who look beyond the obvious day-to-day business to make a difference in their respective communities.

Hall is impacting at least two of the county’s six middle schools. The program also helps ease the burden on courts. Last year, the two family courts handled 10,000 cases.

With three or more unexcused absences, children can be considered truant and heading to court in Kentucky.

As Hall puts it, “There’s nothing positive about coming to court.’’

Thanks to this judge, fewer students are getting to the point of needing to get into the court system.

To Judge M. Brent Hall, here’s to a job well done.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.