Parents now face huge $5,000 fines if their kids are caught ‘wagging’
- Parents in South Australia face a $5,000 fine for keeping kids out of school
- Four cases involving seven children approach final stage of prosecution
- Education Secretary Blair Boyer hires new truant officers to help parents
- Mr Boyer said he was open to changing the current laws if they don’t prosecute
Parents who keep their children out of school face hefty fines in South Australia as the state’s education minister curbs the prolonged absence of students.
South Australia’s education minister, Blair Boyer, has hired more truant officers to improve student numbers in the state and work with parents who deliberately stop their children from going to school.
Four cases of parents who habitually keep their children at home are at risk of going to court, says AdelaideNow.
Three of those cases are in the final stages of prosecution, with a maximum fine of $5,000 for not sending children to school.
Parents who stop their children from going to school face persecution in South Australia (stock image)
“These are parents who are actually stopping their kids from going to school,” said Mr Boyer.
He revealed that the four cases were “at the most severe end of the truancy spectrum” and involved a total of seven college students.
“We need good legal advice about their chances of success. (But) all cases that may lead to prosecution are quite serious.’
“It’s not just an empty threat. We are using this as a last resort when nothing else has worked out,” he added.
Mr Boyer has hired three new truants to provide advice over a telephone line.
A further three officers will interact with Aboriginal students through a program run by the non-profit Aboriginal organization KWY.
It’s in addition to the 34 truant officers already employed by the state’s education department to work with parents who bring chronically absent children back to school or provide alternative ways of learning.
Students who are absent from school for more than 10 days per semester are considered “chronically absent.”
SA Education Secretary Blair Boyer (pictured) has hired more truant officers to improve student attendance records in the state and work with parents to get kids to school
Mr Boyer said he would be open to making changes to the truancy laws if it becomes too difficult to sue parents who ban their children from school.
Previous cases have resulted in children dying or being abused by their caregivers.
If the parents involved in the three cases are charged, it will be the first prosecution in the state since 2017.