Bill to Decriminalize Truancy Moves Forward in Texas
...while a similar bill in Colorado gets watered down.
Some good news from Texas:
Riding a passionate, sometimes heated appeal from a leading Democrat, the Texas Senate on Wednesday endorsed a plan to end criminal penalties for students who skip school.
More than 100,000 Texas students a year face Class C misdemeanors, and criminal records, for truancy violations that are handled in adult court—endangering their future applications for housing, college and the military, said state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston….
Whitmire's Senate Bill 106—approved 26-5 Wednesday and sent to the House—would treat truancy as a civil court matter, allowing municipal court judges and justices of the peace to remain involved in the process but removing their ability to assess a criminal penalty.
The new bill would still allow the authorities to levy fines on families whose kids regularly skip school, but it's a substantial step in the right direction. It is both unjust and ridiculous to treat truancy as a criminal matter.