Senate Proposed Changes To Truancy Bill
by Andy Chow
One of the proposed education bills sitting in the Ohio General Assembly deals with truancy. And although lawmakers are on break through the November elections, a top senator has at least one change in mind.
The truancy bill creates several provisions to help a child who is consistently absent, which includes intervention teams that can help that child avoid the court system.
Republican Senator Peggy Lehner says one change she’d like to make is to eliminate suspensions and expulsions of children younger than 9-years-old, with some exceptions. Instead, she says the schools should have alternative options for these kids – many of whom are struggling with mental health issues.
“And it can happen at a very early age as opposed to waiting until they’re 15, 16 and you add addiction and all sorts of other things on,” says Lehner
The Senate Education Committee Chair believes this can relieve some of the stress put on parents who are seeking mental health and behavioral services from the state.