Alaska School District To Charge Parents Of Absent Children Criminally

Cropped view of woman wearing handcuffs

Because they’re not our kids, you see, they’re the government’s. We’re just the babysitters, criminally liable when we don’t abide by the government’s child-rearing plan, apparently.

KOTZEBUE, Alaska – Teachers and school administrators in northwest Alaska have warned the parents of frequently truant children that they can be charged with a misdemeanor if the students continue to miss class.

Northwest Arctic Borough School District Superintendent Norman Eck said the district is trying to lift its sagging attendance numbers, KOTZ-FM reported.

“We were very worried about certain students not attending very often,” Eck said.

The district has about 88 percent average attendance. Eck said a successful school usually has at least 95 percent attendance.

The misdemeanor charge is contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and is considered a final step.

Obviously, these parents should get their kids to school (though to be fair the fact that the district is in extremely rural, arctic Alaska may have something to do with attendance), but does anyone really think that making the parents criminals is going to help the situation?

I’m guessing that parents who are having troubles getting their kids to school are probably having other problems too, and making them criminals is only going to exacerbate the problem. I also don’t like the precedent this sort of law sets. If you’re not a good parent, in the way the government defines good parenting, you’re going to charged criminally?

That’s not a road we should want to go down, no matter how good the intentions.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • jimmypop

    “does anyone really think that making the parents criminals is going to help the situation?”

    ‘anyone’ is a mighty powerful word…….i bet youd be shocked how many people would think this is just fine…… shocked and scared.

    im fine with kids being yanked in an instant….forever….. from crack whores and killers, but charging mommy and daddy because they dont get their kids to school? really? the end goal is obviously to take the kids? i wonder if they have the same passion about ‘immoral’ moms and felon daddies…..i bet they dont.

  • Kevin Flanagan

    Since we’ve been told it takes a “village” to raise a child, shouldn’t “the Village” be charged?

  • Guest

    Alaska has all that pork $ and oil $. They can afford absurd judicial expenses.

  • Pino

    If you’re not a good parent, in the way the government defines good parenting, you’re going to charged criminally?

    I’m small government. I’m free market. But one condition of both is that the individual be free to make their own decisions. And children aren’t. On some level, reasonable society has to step in an ensure minimal standards. And school is one of ‘em.

    We simply can’t make the child responsible for the sins of their fathers. After all, every day, thousands of helpless and innocent children are tragically born into Liberal families. Together, we CAN work to help these children. ;-)

  • flamemeister

    What is criminal is subjecting children to public schools.

  • borborygmi

    It would definitely be better for the country if these children stay uneducated and since there is no proof of a correlation between education and welfare…..Let them alone. Manual laborers are still needed. Someone still has to wash dishes, this way you wouldn’t have to check for a green card.

  • Dakotacyr

    Boy, but if those kids don’t do well on their tests, then the teachers will be blamed.

  • Mountainmouth

    How can they be indoctrinated if they are not in school. I wonder how long before adults will need compulsory re-education – Comrades

  • Mike

    I believe parents should be held accountable for their children going to school. To what degree, I am not sure. I definitely would dock any parent who is on any type of public assistance a day’s worth of benefits if their child missed school for anything other then a valid reason (illness,death, family emergency, etc). Statistically, a lack of education increases the potential for a life of criminal activity

    • WOOF

      How much would you dock someone who owned 1000 rental apartments and took their child out of school to go to Disneyland ?