October 1, 2008

Skipping school. Playing hooky - it seems like an innocent rite of passage. But in Baltimore, it can be a matter of life and death. Kids who don't attend school are much more likely to end up involved in criminal activity.

Skipping school. Playing hooky – it seems like an innocent rite of passage. But in Baltimore, it can be a matter of life and death. Kids who don’t attend school are much more likely to end up involved in criminal activity.

What is being done to keep kids in school? Today, Marc talked with community activists and North Avenue officials about the efforts underway to decrease Baltimore’s truancy rate.

Marc was joined by:

  • Jonathan Brice, Executive Director of Student Support at Baltimore City Public School System
  • Ivan Leshinsky, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Center for Youth Development
  • Dante Wilson from Reclaiming our Children and Community Project
  • Melody Simmons, freelance reporter whose 12 part documentary feature series on truancy in Baltimore city can be heard by clicking here.

Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show currently airs on The Real News Network. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Email us to share your comments with us.

3 Comments

  1. Michael Derry says:

    Hi Marc,

    I have been a School Social worker in Both Baltimore City and County for the past 11 years. While in Baltimore County I have been involved in our “Project Attend Program”

    This is joint partnership between BCPS, the Baltimore County Police, and the courts. My role was to identify students who had chronic attendance problems (15-20% truancy rates), and provided assessment and intervention these students and their families.

    I agree completely that engaging families is critical. Particularly in the area of assessing psycho-social barriers…. While the reasons for truancy are many, the majority revolve around families who are overwhemed with life stressers. Other parents are themselves frustrated with their child’s behavior and welcome a partnership with the schools….

    Less freqently we run into parents who symply do not support school attendance…. in these cases we take a harder line approach; parents can be fined $ 50.00 for every unexcused absence or face jail time.

  2. CHARLIE says:

    Marc, I wish you’d have Del. Jill Carter on to discuss local politics, SLOTS, BGE reregulation, etc. She recently made what, I thought, was an interesting comment about the truancy issue-that the schools should join with DSS, not DJS in an effort to address the roots of truancy and provide helpful services to kids and families where needed to stop truancy and prevent delinquency. Beginning with DJS is backwards. I agree. But, I find that I agree with her on most issues and she makes more sense and better assessments than most other politicians. I hope you will have her on your show in the near future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *