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Real, or not real? Truancy report part 2 #2

CLove's picture

Last night, Husband mentioned he got another truancy report...#2. Threatening to prosecute. I asked my teacher friend, she response with "oh they send all kinds of letters trying to scare the parents but they dont do anything about it, its really bad..." etc.

So, he did speak with principal. Principal told him if there are more absences, they will revoke her interdistrict transfer.

Background: SD16 SMPS goes to school one town over, west of us. Its becoming a pricey area with million dollar homes and its close to the coast. Our town is industrial and agriculture and, well cheaper property values.

Husband has asked me not to ask questions or talk about his daughter with him because it makes him feel bad. I did sort of say something about Freshman Year of Crapping on Clove.

I said "ok". But you all know me and I have major "monkee mind", and tend to obsess. SO. But I just shut my further commentary off and before ending the convo, I simply said, "you know its ok to be dads wife and its ok to be my husbands daughter. I didnt make her I didnt give birth to her and youve stated clearly you want zero parenting from me, so please dont tell me "thats your child too...and I wont be involved or talk about things, unless it starts to affect me..."

He promised he was going to talk to her tonight and get her mother Toxic Troll on the line.

No mention made about the grades. Its all about the truancy. So, this lead me down the rabbit hole of wondering why do they even care so much? Wouldnt they want to keep the students there? Is it about money? Ok, how do schools get their money anyhow???

Ok, Monkee mind is minding its own business. 


AlmostGone834's picture

What happens if her interdistrict transfer is revoked? Where will she go?

CLove's picture

Theres a high school within walking distance. SD23 Feral Forger graduated from there.

so senior year would really suck for her - shed lose her friends shes known for years, start fresh with new kids, and lose her ROTC.

CLove's picture

If she had her permit, that would be sort of funny.

Im just curious how the school system "decides" where her home school actually would be. Because previously her mother lived right in town, but now is near a totally different school north of us.

notarelative's picture

Here the school is decided by current residence. So if TT is the custodial parent it would be the school her current residence is zoned for.

However, most districts here don't check custody orders for residency. As long as one parent lives in the district, here it is possible to register the child with the address of the non custodial parent. 

justmakingthebest's picture

I get that the truancy is a big deal and she needs to understand that she will be moving schools if she doesn't get her act together- but grades are JUST as big of a deal.

I have a friend, who I often disagree with, but her exH makes it very hard to even remotely feel sorry for him. Anyway, he son failed last year big and her response was oh well, ex is on the hook for one more year of CS. 

I just can't even.... Grrrrrrr.... He is a dirt bag and should have lost everything in their divorce and the way he treats his kids is despicable- but the fact that she found a "positive" in her kid failing just baffles me. I am sure that TT has the same thoughts. 

CLove's picture

And Ive mentioned to Husband that he will be on the hook for another year of Child Support if child fails high school.

The teachers dont WANT to fail the kids.

To her, she just does the minimum required. Im sure she will skate along and squeek out with a c average. But he needs to parent that child. Consequences to actions.

notarelative's picture

In some places they track the four year graduation rates. Truancy impacts grades. If they feel a truant student is close to not having enough credits to advance to the next grade, it benefits their stats to push the intradistrict student off to their home school.

AlmostGone834's picture

Good point! Here in NY teachers are under a lot of pressure to pass the kids along. I taught for a couple years and one of the ten million reasons I got out of the field was the pressure from the administration to pass every child at every grade level so we could roll out the big banner in front of the school the read "100% graduation rate!!". Nevermind that some of these kids were reading at a elementary level and couldn't do basic math. The screws were put to us to try any trick in the book to get them through the state exams and keep "butts in seats". I have absolutely no idea how the English and Math teachers managed to get a few of the students we had to pass the state exams but I'd bet my bottom dollar something shady was going on somewhere along the way. 

CLove's picture

Its about money and stats. Its apparently in California a case-by-case thing for prosecution which equals more money in fines.

So...I think Husband can use the "threats" as a way to scare SD16 SMPS straight...into class that is. I just think he has given up, but I cannot say "upsets him". EGADS.

Rags's picture

My offical response if I were the NCP..... "I am not the CP, this isnt my problem.  Speak to  the custodial parent. Buh-bye"

However, the kid would rue every second they lived in my presence and I would be dragging the CP to court constantly by the proverbial short and curlies.




Rags's picture

I get avoidance of tension and issues. I hate that stuff as well.  I never have found addressing the problem to ever be as difficult as I have built it up in my mind to be.

Hopefully your DH knows who the CP is.  If he doesn't.... wow.


Happy Thannks Giving CLove.

MissK03's picture

I think there is a bigger issue here. SDs parents never really gave a F about her schooling. You did the work clove then she started turning into FF.. NOW she is becoming a total dropout basically... I find it interesting how deep she has fallen the past year...

I think SD should try to talk to someone (therapist maybe) to help her out. I think her home life, possible school life and other factors you guys might not be aware about are causing her to tumble.

CLove's picture

Doesnt believe in therapy.

Mrs Cellophane's picture

Truancy is a big deal. Most states fund schools through a mixture of federal funds and property taxes. That money is then distributed to local school districts according to their student enrollment. 

This money comes with a TON of strings. Schools must be accredited, provide specific plans to meet the federal requirements for sped students, etc. For a student to qualify as enrolled, they must attend a minimum number of days and not miss more than 10 consecutive days of school (there are some exceptions given: medical etc).  

When a student has a high level of truancy (non excused, non medical absence) the district loses the funding for that kid. But the school is still providing educational services for said child, and so this becomes a financial deficiency for the district. And they really don't like that. Especially if this student is not attending their "home school". Most the time this is seen as a transportation issue (since most districts will not transport students to out of boundary schools, so that responsibility lies with the parents).  

How serious this is depends on how desperate your district is for money. If they have and on staff attorney, they will typically bring charges against parents. However, districts that pay an attorney by the hour/ case usually don't go farther than a sternly worded letter. 

Additionally, most states have a contact hour minimum for students to graduate. If SD isn't meeting this requirement, she may be a high schooler longer than anyone expects. 

CLove's picture

The curiosity of how likely it is to turn serious, is at the heart of it, although my natural curiosity of "how things work" is at play as well. Im an information obsessive.

I researched and they do make money from fines...ranging from $100-200 plus.

So it boils down to on-staff attorney = go after parents?

CLove's picture

That each child costs aproximately 12,000 each school year to educate. I think it must be higher because of all the benefits the school workers recieve. Especially since there is a huge disparity between the number of students in her "home school" compared to her current. Current school is probably one- fifth. I just remember being so amazed at the number of students when I attended SD23 Feral Forgers graduation a few years ago.

I kind of figured it was more about money than the child, but it is also about the child too...

Livingoutloud's picture

More about money than the child? That's an unfair statement. You don't believe the requirement for children to attend school has a lot  to do with education and proper care for the children? Seriously. You sound like those folks who think that teachers only care about the money and not about the kids. Many members on this site are working in education, so things you are saying are mildly offensive and uncalled for. 

This kid doesn't attend school. She is a minor. Her parents demonstrate neglectful attitude about her education. But somehow in your eyes it boils down to schools worrying about money. Why not focus on the fact that parents don't make sure that their minor child attends school. That's a real problem. Why take focus from the real issue here? I can't even imagine having my kid repeatedly truant let alone trying to shift the blame. Your SD really got a short end of the stick with these bozos aka her parents.  

CLove's picture

I see that there are both sides to the story. The teachers care. Maybe the principal cares too! I dont doubt they do, in fact I emphasize to Husband that the teachers are not teaching because they hate children. The math teacher is offering to give up breaks and lunches if a kid needs extra help.

But why the threats of prosecution? Dont you think that takes the focus away? I wondered by the letters about District Attorney were being sent.

When Husband was on the phone with her it was the same thing. "you need to show up to class." "ok dad". "You need to get your grades up". "ok dad". 

Him "the school sent a bad letter saying that they are referring us to the district attorney"

Her - "I dont want to be in trouble".

Him "they are going to take you out of your current school. youll lose all your friends."

Her "ok dad"

It frustrates me. Husband will take her to school. Shes missing one class. WE all get notified. Yet no repercussions fall on her. So its the same crap different dates.

How exactly am I shifting blame> Im just noting to myself that the schools benefit from a childs success and perfect attendance records. 

notarelative's picture

The number of children registered impacts the number of teachers hired. The schools rely on the funding attendance brings to pay those teachers. A reasonable amount of absence due to illness is factored into the budget. Truancy throws the calculations out of whack. So yes, schools/teachers do have a vested intetest in attendance. Teachers want to be paid for their work. 

Parents have been notified that this child has excessive absences. Parents did nothing. Neither parent enforced Saturday school. The child is failing. Tutoring is offered and the child does not attend. Both parents initially took this child's word that a required course was not required and that guidance was imposing this on her. 

Why the threats of prosecution? To get the parents attention. Nothing else has worked. The hope is that this will wake them up.

CLove's picture

The last time Husband took kid to SS, no one was there and he did not pursue that with the school.

Whats frustrating is that there are no repercussions to her actions/inactions. She needed more structure. 

I do not know what the problem is with Toxic Troll who has worked for the school system previously for 20 plus years. She will not take kid to school if kid complains of anything. And will not call it in.

Husband feels that he cannot be harsh with kid becuase kid will cry. Shes been lying too. But no one is following up, and h only deals with it when school calls him. And then when he TRIES to deal with it  - kid will not respond to texts. And BM will accuse him of abuse.

BUT the alternative is to get on her and monitor her to the level that I did that got actual results.

But I am learning a lot about the school system and how the funding works. Its just really sad that the parents seem to just not really care at all about her education.

notarelative's picture

The last time Husband took kid to SS, no one was there and he did not pursue that with the school.

It is very unusual for no one to be there for a scheduled Saturday school. No one there? Not a teacher? Not another parent trying to drop off their child? No other student who had to attend? Something sounds off. 

CLove's picture

He related that there were a few other cars parked with kids waiting to be dropped off. He never pursued it further...and then the next week shes off with her mother Toxic Troll. I know they went...but they both insisted no one. nada. I just figured the designated person got sick. And no backup.

Livingoutloud's picture

Why aren't parents applying consequences for her action or inactions? Yes she needs more structure. Why aren't her parents getting her more structure? 

Dad takes her to Saturday school and supposedly no one is there (likely takes her to wrong place and wrong time). Dad doesn't do his job by investigating what happened so he has to face consequences: contact about truancy. You seem upset that parents face consequences for not doing their job. 

your husband doesnt monitor her attendance and her skipping classes, he doesn't contact principal about her attendance and he doesn't even inquire why there was no one at Saturday school and yet you don't believe he needs any consequences for his lack of parenting. I understand love is blind but it can't be so blind that you don't even think it's a parental responsibility to monitor attendance! 




Livingoutloud's picture

The threat of prosecution is needed because neglectful parents like your husband and his ex do not understand parental responsibilities and do not respond to anything rather than consequences. They don't do what they are supposed to do. They only respond when laws are being brought to the plate. Many (most) people don't need truancy law to get involved because their kids attend school regularly. Your SD repeatedly doesn't  attend school, so truancy law is triggered and parents have to face consequences 

No it doesn't take the focus off anything. Focus is placed exactly where it belongs: on neglectful parents. Truancy law is there to make sure neglectful parents do their job.

I know you blame SD for everything but from the legal stand point it's a parental responsibility to ensure that children attend school. That's why there is a truancy law.

You seem to think that kids are legally liable. No, parents are, until kids become legal adults.

Now if parents take kids to school but they run out the back door, then parents could bring it up to a judge. In those cases different laws apply. Have they talked to the administration about her not staying in school? 

if a child skips class on a regular basis, then your husband needs to go talk to a principal and sometimes children might have to be escorted from room to room to make sure they don't skip.  What does he do about her skipping? By the way truancy isn't filled for skipping one class. Habitual non attendance, that's causing truancy law to get triggered.   

CLove's picture

I dont really blame her 100% I think the blame is pretty shared. Shes smart. She crapped on me a few years ago when I tried helping. Nothing was resolved and now I just tiptoe and that has created resentment. So you are mistaking my residual resentment for blame.

I do indeed blame the parents. I am simply not sympathetic to SD as being the victim of non-parenting parents. Shes the one who is conciously taking these actions, they are the ones conciously not providing consequences.

I merely seek answers at this point.

BTW - husband has spoken to the principal twice now. But all he does is "tell her" she must do better or she will lose ROTC and her friends. Eventually. Sometime down the road. Nothing immediate.

I sincerely doubt there would be an escort...

Livingoutloud's picture

Yes escorting students to the classrooms if they run out of school or don't make it to class is not uncommon. If that what happens your husband needs to talk to the principal about it ASAP 

No one portrays SD is a victim. No one said a word about it. Your husband received a letter that his child repeatedly misses school and truancy law applies. You seem upset about him facing consequences for his inaction. School attendance is a law.  It's a common knowledge that if minors don't attend school, parents face legal consequences. It's not new or extravagant law.  Com'n school attendance is mandatory. 

CLove's picture

You want me to "blame" the parent. And what consequences should I unleash on husband for not parenting the kid thats not mine? Rather Im p!ssed that he has not instilled any consequences to kid like turning off phone/taking away electronics. Im p!ssed that he doesnt yell at Toxic Troll each and every single time that she takes kid out of school and doesnt call it in. Im p!ssed at all of them.

And I just keep my mouth shut about it because the consequences to ME are so much worse and harsher. The arguments are so not worth it. "you talking badly about my child makes me think less of you". Etc. Its easier for Husband to lash out at me, than lash out at the baby momma. Its easier for SD16 Snotty McPouter Sulk to blame me for "making her uncomfortable" - utter bs btw. Its easier for SD23 Feral Forger to blame me for the lack of relationship with her father. Its way easier for Toxic Troll to lash out at me through Husband.

I hope he does face consequences to his actions. A $200 fine would be just fine with me. Id chuckle and say "well consequence to your in-actions".

Escorting truant kids - I dont know how common that is. Ive not heard of that before...however I have no bios of my own. 

Livingoutloud's picture

no one asks you to unleash consequences. At some point you might want to think why is it always someone else's fault. And never your husband's? Why do you want everyone to face consequences for everything but never ever your husband? It now went as far as blaming school for sending truancy letters. It's not even schools law. School attendance is a state law. Why can't your husband do no wrong even if he     clearly in the wrong? And it's one situation after another 

yes escorting a habitual skipping student to classrooms is done in cases of a parent bringing kids to school but kids don't arrive to their classes (habitually skipping like your SD who's apparently being driven to school but doesn't arrive tk classrooms)

MissK03's picture

Why do you want HER to be in trouble? It's not HER job. It IS her parents job. Skids here MAYBE missed 2 days a year and when we pulled them for few days for vacations. 

Something is going on with SD and if your husband and her mother don't want to help this girl it's on them. There is another reason why she isn't/doesn't want to go to school... 

They need to find that problem. 

Livingoutloud's picture


School attendance is mandatory for minors. Not because school is greedy but because that's the state law. There's no conspiracy here to get poor innocent dad.

if parents want their kid to face consequences for not attending classes (if they in fact drove her to school and saw her walking in but she didn't make it to class), they are the ones who need to apply consequences and punishments to their kid. Not the authorities. Demanding for the law to prosecute the kids while grown ups do not full fill  their legal obligations/ don't follow up/ don't seek help for their kids or don't provide a structure to their kids lives, makes zero sense.

These parents don't want to look for a problem. It's a lot of work. And they don't want to do the work 






CLove's picture

Which is why its so frustrating to me. And when I voice my frustrations, I get shot down, and get attitude and get into arguments that go no where.

Which is why I have been leaving the house more and more when SD16 SMPS is here, because she has zero expectations put on her and when things hit the fan at school she gets "you need to do better, etc". Which to me isnt solving the problem.

And now Im frustrated again because I had asked for the pet cleanup - dog doo pickup (as per usual its her ONE unpaid chore) and that she do the rabbit cage. Meaning that I had asked husband and then asked her again. 5 hours later, nada. But shes on the phone and eating my leftovers and generally loafing around.

If I ask her and then explain my frustration, I get sighs, attitude and then the sulky mcpoutersulk treatment.

Then arguments from husband.

The same thing happened with SD23 Feral Forger, when I had come into the household full time. My blogs go back a while and she and I had issues and husband did not parent her.

Livingoutloud's picture

I am sorry but that's just what it is. That's who you are married to. That's who he is. 

I once was in a long relationship with alcoholic. He was functioning so I assumed it was not a big deal. Well it was. Anyways I left him 8 and a half years ago. I since have met my husband and have been with him for 7 and a half years (married for 6.5). Guess what. My ex still drinks. Yup. You'd ask why? Because he's an alcoholic.

Like the story of frog and scorpion. "Why did you sting me?" "Because that's who I am". 

I've learned some things from Al Anon literature that I apply to my life. You don't go to produce shop to buy bread. Why? They don't sell it, don't make it, don't have it. So going to your DH with the expectation of him doing this or that is pointless. He doesn't have it. Not going to provide it. Why? That's just who he is.

So many of us spend our lives with people from whom we expect  XYZ. But they don't have it. They only have ABC. You either accept ABC or you leave. Leave and either be alone or look for someone who has XYZ. There's literally no other option.

You being mad at schools applying legal consequences to your DH isn't going to make any difference or change the fact that it's your life.  You either roll with the punches or leave. 

oh I am aware of your blogs. I've been on here a very long time (mostly with my previous very problematic  steplife). Your DH didn't do anything then and doesn't do now. Of course someone else could be blamed like BM or SDs or government lol. 

But the bottom line remains: that's who he is, that's who you are married to 

PS disclaimer: my point wasn't about addiction but about wanting our partners to do something different when it's not who they are. If you want something different, you need to marry a different man 

CLove's picture

Thank you for your lengthy treatise regarding expectations and delivery. I am not mad at the school system - Im mad at Husband and Im frustrated with skid, and I am HAPPY that there are consequences being meted out. I think you are hammering on the wrong nail.

I agree that people are who they are, but I also believe that they can learn and change and grow. I dont want him to just give up on his youngest because he feels like he failed (true) with the eldest. With the eldest I think that there is some level of treatable mental illness, so there were some added challenges that he simply was not able to rise up to. However, thats not the same scenario he is facing right now.At 16 its normal to test boundaries, and see where things can go. Shes learning about consequences to actions finally, because up until now, she hasnt had any. And its to her detriment. In the big picture I do care about her. Ive always treated her like she was family. She needs to either value that or lose that as a natural consquence. She needs to value her place at that school or lose that. Husband needs to get a fine of 100$ or he will not take initiative and follow through...

So, no Im not upset at the school system. Ill only be upset if they dont follow through with consequences.