New truancy laws could penalize both students, parents

New truancy laws could penalize students for not going to school as well as their parents. Kiii News Reporter Heather Gustafson spoke to a Robstown High School senior who had to make the tough decision to return to the classroom.

ROBSTOWN (KIII NEWS) - New truancy laws could penalize students for not going to school as well as their parents. Kiii News Reporter Heather Gustafson spoke to a Robstown High School senior who had to make the tough decision to return to the classroom.
 
The Robstown Independent School District started classes three weeks ago, but some students have not even walked in the front door. 19-year-old Aaron Barton is a typical high school senior, but he hasn't been to one class in over a year.
 
"I fell back a year, and to see everybody that I was in the same class with graduating last year, it was heartbreaking," Barton said.
 
Barton and his girlfriend Britney recently welcomed a baby girl Eva into their lives; but with no daycare and no one to help look after the four-month-old, the teen parents stayed home, skipping school and making them part of the 160 Robstown students who were absent the first day of school.
 
However, Nueces County school districts say that number is about to change. New laws passed in Nueces County change the consequences of truancy. In the past, if a child was absent more than three times, they could face criminal action. Now that falls to the parents.
 
That is why program's like Countdown to Zero and Operation KEYS aim to get students back in the classroom.
 
Barton said he is excited for the opportunity to return to school.
 
The Coundown to Zero program goes until the end of September, so there is still time for students in Robstown to head back to class.


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