Editorial: Schools aren’t parents

It’s time to hold parents more accountable for the kids who skip school, the St. Cloud Times says in an editorial today.

Stearns County truancy cases this year are almost triple the average number of cases in the previous five years. Who’s fault is that?

Frank Kundrat, a district court judge in the county, held a listening session earlier this month during which he suggested many of the problems facing us have their roots in the fact kids are truant. But the problem doesn’t get enough attention.

In its editorial today, the Times doesn’t say how parents should be held more accountable, but it says schools aren’t a substitute parent.

The dangers to children who are on the loose are significant. Bad people can reach out via social media to connect with youth with time on their hands. Law enforcement says those people will try to take advantage of the youths. The danger is real.

If parents want to put their heads in the sand and ignore the danger, they do it at their own risk.

Let’s be clear: Schools aren’t the children’s parents. Parents are the children’s parents.

If kids don’t show up at school, it is up to the parents, not the courts or schools, to fix the problems.

How can parents give up on their children? Economic pressures add to challenges. We get it. But having children start with truancy and end in drug use, crime or a victim of sex trafficking is far more damaging than parents having to take time to follow up with the truancy problem.