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  • 2014年雅思阅读材料:孩子逃学家长坐牢

    美国海港城市巴尔的摩为应对学生逃学问题,近几年一直实施“学生逃学,家长受罚”的政策。学生一年逃课15天以上,家长就会被逃学管理办公室提起指控;一旦证实家长知晓学生逃课事实,便有可能被判入狱数天。逃学管理办公室表示,这样做是为了让家长和学生意识到上学的重要性。据悉,今年已有12位家长因孩子逃学而被指控。近几年,类似的政策在美国各州均有实施。加州的反逃学法案于今年年初开始生效,纵容孩子逃学的家长将面临最高一年的监禁。密歇根一位检察官甚至建议立法,让那些缺席家长会的父母也进监狱待几天。

      About a dozen parents have been sentenced for their children's truancy this year and some have gone for jail for the crime, the Baltimore Sun's Erica Green reports.

      Green profiles Barbara Gaskins, who spent 10 days in jail after her 15-year-old son missed the overwhelming majority of school days this year. She says she dropped him off at the bus stop each morning and taught him the importance of education. She was worried about finding childcare for her four young children while serving the time.

      "We're dealing with less than 1 percent of students and parents, and certainly this is one of the toughest decisions we have," Jonathan Brice, who oversees the school district's truancy office, told Green. "But it's critical that we get those parents' and young people's attention about the seriousness of being in school." Education experts, however, were less confident that cracking down on parents would lift attendance.

      The school system's court liaison Alfred Barbour told the paper that no parents served jail time last year--and that only three did in 2009. Hundreds of them are cited each year for truancy however, and charges are filed after a student misses 15 days. For parents to be convicted, the school has to prove they knew their child wasn't attending school.

      Criminalizing parental laziness has had something of a nationwide movement lately. California's new strict anti-truancy bill took effect at the beginning of this year. Parents can serve up to a year in jail if convicted of allowing their children to skip class. Florida and Texas already have similar laws on the books. And one Michigan prosecutor wants an ordinance passed to send parents who miss parent-teacher conferences to jail for three days a pop.

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