Too many missing school in MISD
Tribe looks at updating truancy law
Menominee Indian School District is having difficulty getting its students to class.
According to Superintendent Wendell Waukau, nearly 20 percent of the 850 students in the district has been chronically absent in a school year. Students are considered chronically absent when they miss 15 percent or more of the school days; with 180 days in the school year, a student passes that mark at 27.
The absent students were among several concerns discussed Monday by the Menominee Tribal Legislature and the Menominee Indian School Board in a joint meeting, and an outdated truancy law is seen as a symptom of the problem.
A joint committee will be look at the truancy law in the hopes of adding some teeth to it. A recommendation will be brought to both governing bodies Dec. 10.
According to the Tribal Code, potential penalties for students and parents who violate the truancy law include suspension of driver's license, fines and forfeitures, and counseling programs.
Waukau said parents and guardians are being issued citations for their wayward kids, but the citations are not bringing the truancy numbers down.
Legislator Myrna Warrington said she hoped some progress could be made on the issue, noting that the school district and tribe, along with other public officials, had met on the same issue 10 years ago. She agreed that the truancy law was too old and needed some changes.