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State Senator wants to tighten truancy laws

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – A Mandan state Senator says students not showing up for class is becoming more and more of a problem in schools.

Republican Dwight Cook would like to change the state's truancy law. Cook says the current law makes it a felony for the parents when students are habitually skipping class -- and because of that, the law isn't enforced. He proposes to make that a misdemeanor. And he proposes that -- for habitually truant students under the age of 16 who have drivers' licenses or permits -- to take away those driving privileges -- for at least three months.

Cook says other states -- including Minnesota -- are tightening up their truancy laws. He says the federal No Child Left Behind act focuses too much on schools and not on families -- and this will change that focus.