Losing license not the answer for truancy

A bill recently introduced in the state Legislature would penalize students who are chronic offenders of skipping school by suspending their driver’s license for up to six months.
Jan 20, 2014


While we agree that it’s important to keep kids in school, we suggest that legislators proceed with caution before implementing this measure.

In Michigan, you must be at least 16 years old to receive your driver’s license. It’s very likely that, by this time, the habit of skipping school has already been established.

A better option might be only allowing those kids who have good attendance records to enroll in a driver’s education class.

Kids need to understand the value of an education early on, and failure to attend school has consequences.

It’s unfortunate that situations like this exist, but they do and likely always will. It appears that lawmakers assume that suspending a driver’s license will magically make kids start attending class on a more regular basis.

This plan overlooks some of the negative impact this will cause, and ultimately make a bad situation worse.

What about the kid who needs his driver’s license to get to work? Not being able to drive likely results in the loss of that job. Now, the kid isn’t attending school and lost his or her job.  Sounds like a nosedive that can have a lasting impact.

Before this bill is approved, let’s make sure it has a chance of accomplishing what the real goal is — keeping kids in school.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



This is the Michigan way. Michigan sticks it to its citizens every chance it gets. You pay double or triple and get fee gouged at the Secretary of State and every county/city/township bureaucracy. The rudeness in the Grand Haven Sec of St. office is legendary. Like those people along M-231. Their property values along that strip have plummeted or got chopped by 2/3'rds. Thats OK but the property tax bills stay in the thousands. That don't drop. You get porked in Robinsontucky when you want a zoning variance - they make ya pay $2500 dollar escrow fee. We pay ungodly high property taxes and then get charged up the ying yang to see a high school football/basketball/etc games. No wonder people who go to Montana - never come back.


I would pretty much disagree w/ everything in this rant. 1) I always have a quick and friendly experience at the SOS and the fees are in line w/ most other states, even well below some. 2)I live in "Rosbinsontuky" and find my taxes fair and balanced. Just ask around other townships or counties. You might end up counting your blessings. 3) Charged "up the ying yang" to go to a HS game? Hardly. This poster sounds like the type that no matter what anybody suggests or presents, it'll never be good enough and they go right to complaining about how the world just sucks. We all know folks like that. Anyway, what does most of this have to do w/ the problem of truancy?


Why not just make it a law, you don't graduate, you don't get a license (like in FL). Skip the "take it away for 6 mos." thing.

Maggi C

Really? They want to take a license away from truants; but if they have a good attendance record, they should be let off. Which is it? And, if they need a job and want an education, they should be more responsible. Lack of consequences leads to kids expecting to be given a pass. How about taking responsibility for their actions?


A typical response by people not involved in, or thinking in the process of raising a child. Truancy is a parental/student issue. Going to school is a student's "job". Go to school, and s/he gets "paid" with the "privilege" to drive for exhibiting responsible traits needed to drive a car, go to a movie with friends, or ___fill__in_the_blank___. If my kid doesn't do what I expect..no car, no phone, no Ipad, no social life.....I can keep making a list...... Life is full of consequences, or, learning about life lessons. These consequences are what is absent in this society where we all feel entitled to "privileges". in 2014, many parents are too soft on their kids which is part of the issue. Parents need to be parents first, then be a friend. Raise that child right, and you'll have a lifetime of friendship.

Real estate maven

As I'm fond of saying highlander I can't state it any better than that. I'm an "old" dad, 54 with a 9 year old daughter in the 3rd grade, my one and only. My daughter reflects the values, morals and standards of my generation as they were imparted to me and she is on a good course as a result. Perfect? Not by a long shot but rooted in a foundation that will serve her well wherever her life takes her. It's pretty simple at our house:Good behavior is rewarded and poor behavior is punished. No guarantees in this life but I'm pretty confident there won't be truancy issues in her future and that she will not be living in our basement when she's 30. So many issues in our society today can be traced back to poor parenting.


Why not take away the PARENTS driver license for six months if the kid doesn't know how to act?


The state should back off and keep it between the school and parents and stop trying to grasp creative new dollars in general, not just this issue.


This has very little to do with the school, when the student decides not to attend and work at an education. Truancy is a student/parent issue and can be solved with better parenting, better coomunication, and consequences.


This is just another way of mich interfering in peoples lives. Possibly one of the worst ideas ive ever heard. The only reason michigan cares about truancy is because they dont want to lose out on that all mighty dollar. If michigan was so worried about truancy than they would quit diverting lottery and other funds slotted for schools to the general fund. Only to be blown on unrelated things like politics. If michigan cared about its schools and students so much, it would'nt rank in the last percentile in the entire united states. Its a joke and any one buying into it is a joke also. So we have totaly raked the parents over the coals for years, now lets make it so a great deal of our mich. children are awards of the state before they even reach 18. Bad business mich. time to move on soon.


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