Monday, April 21, 2008

No-driving bills would ground dropouts in California

I suppose this is a way to keep kids in school, but certainly if the only reason a dropout might return to school is to get his license I'm not sure if that's valuable for either the system or the students. As much as I cringe at the idea of high school dropouts, why must politicians or whomever insist that we have to keep those that don't want to be in school to coerce them to stay there. Who knows they might get back eventually.

From the Sacramento Bee via Newsalert...
Targeting what most teenagers lust for, California lawmakers may ban dropouts from driving in a last-ditch attempt to entice them back to school.

The approach, if signed into law, would mark the first time California has used driving as leverage to get kids to stay in school.

Two Assembly bills call for stripping dropouts and habitual truants of driving privileges unless they return to school, reach age 18 or qualify for a hardship waiver.

"It occurs to me that driving is a privilege, it's a state-authorized activity, so I think we have a role here," said Assemblyman Gene Mullin, a South San Francisco Democrat who is pressing the issue as chairman of the Assembly Education Committee.

But Meredith Turney of Capitol Resource Family Impact, a nonprofit advocacy group, said the punishment would intrude on parental rights.

"When you start stepping on the toes of parents and their ability to raise children according to their beliefs, you're getting into a very sticky situation," she said.

Twenty-seven states have laws linking driving privileges to school attendance. California lawmakers wrestled with the issue about a decade ago but ultimately dropped the idea.

This year's carrot-and-stick measures, Assembly Bill 2107 and Assembly Bill 2414, have passed policy committees but not yet reached the Assembly floor.

The bills take aim at provisional driver's licenses, which are issued to 16- and 17-year-olds with various restrictions, including limits on late-night driving without adult supervision.
Another way the school system can assert their will over those who for whatever reason chooses not to be apart of the school system. Reminds me almost of a couple of other posts that I did here. One with the public school "monopoly" asserting itself to fight homeschooling. Another about a Montanta legislator who wants to end compulsory education.

Oh and one more thing. Instead of coercing students back to class perhaps there needs to be consideration as to why these students are choosing to drop out of school. A proposal such as this may not be the solution to a problem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can agree with you, but I honestly think that since the high school dropout rate is increasing, we should do anything we can to stop it. It then came down to of taking what high schoolers crave the most, a drivers license. Maybe we can address other problems for dropouts in the near future, but for now this is the main thing we can do.

- A fellow high school student

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