Abstract

Truancy is an extremely essential problem in a lot of areas such as families, schools and children. In any given day, it is estimated that sixty four thousand children skip school without mandate. This vice can seriously affected future life opportunities and has been linked to a whole range of difficulties, such as the use of drugs like marijuana, education disadvantage, criminal behavior, teenage pregnancy, unemployment in later life and the habit to perpetuate a cycle of truancy in the next generation. Effects of these problems and the cost to both societies can be considerable.  This proposal will be aimed at researching a literature review and research evidence to determine which steps should be taken to reduce the number of young people who are becoming truants. Additionally, the proposal highlights methods and procedures that will be taken to determine the best measures that will reduce the use of marijuana and other drugs in future.

The Effects of Truancy on our Children

Introduction

The purpose of this research is to investigate and explore effects of truancy and the marijuana use and their relationship. Truancy has inferences not only to education, but also to other aspects of community and other government initiatives to advance employment prospects, social inclusion, urban rebirth, youth crime and safer cities. It is also clear that causes and effects of absence, which appear from this current study, are often interrelated, but also contested.

The overall message is that some pupils appear to be caught in a cycle of the poor attendance, which influences their attainment and position towards school and leads to the successive unauthorized absence. Absenteeism or truancy has been a common problem faced by many schools globally whether they are urban or rural. Over the last few decades, it has been well thought-out as a disciplinary problem that has been taking place. Truancy has come into sight as one of the disciplinary problems with the highest number of teenagers involved.

The use of any drug has some risks attached, and marijuana is a drug which is neither a demon nor a benign substance. As well as all substances, it is vital to contrast between the regular, casual and heavy use, with downbeat effects being more likely with heavier use. Studies of effects are hindered, because marijuana is often used in amalgamation with other substances, mainly tobacco. It can also cause mental health problems. Truancy may be caused by the peer pressure: the divorce in the family, mental or physical health problems, abuse or neglect, drug or alcohol abuse by one of parents and/or the student, low self-esteem, financial issues, lack of friends, bad academic performance, safety concerns which can include the mental pressure or threats and intimidation and boredom.

Truancy has made many teens involve themselves in drugs, mostly marijuana. Canadian teens are among the highest who have issues with this drug. Research demonstrates that teens may use marijuana as a way of: demonstrating their independence, taking risks and satisfying their curiosity, seeking new and exciting experiences, developing strong peer bonds, developing values distinct from parental and societal authority. When inhaled, it produces a variety of effects that include a sense of well-being, a feeling of relaxation, enhanced sociability, distortions in sense of time, difficulty in concentrating, hearing and vision, and at higher doses – visual hallucinations. Other effects include; increased heart beat rate, increased appetite, reddening of eyes, sedation and decreased muscle tone. The scope of these effects and the real user’s experience will be determined by the number of essential factors that may contrast very much.

Truant may cause to a lot of effects to teens which include: the decrease in earning ability, the daytime crime involvement, such as entering or breaking into one’s building, shoplifting, vandalism, dropping out of studies. It increases the chance of the pupil to be on welfare, the involvement in different kinds of gangs, problems with catching up at school, failing and missing classes, the risk of not getting a higher education. The truancy affects the entire class when the teacher slows down in order to help the student. An increase in crimes results in more victims, an increased cost even to the community for the welfare costs to society and an additional law enforcement.

Truancy has increased negative effects on our children due to victimization, anti-social behavior, different in social classes, different family structure, personality, family issues and neighborhood deprivation and has led to increased misuse of substance on our children. Research will use variables for analysis of effects of truants and marijuana on teens. Example of these variables includes: anti-social behavior, school, parenting, victimization, personality, social class, family structure, neighborhood deprivation and substance misuse. These include continuous variable and will be used to determine the volume of drugs and how many times in past years teens have used marijuana, volume of smoking and drinking alcohol. In addition, categorical variable will be used to determine whether teens have used drugs in the past years. It will also determine the period when they smoke; either they smoke marijuana daily or weekly.

1.      Background Information

Truancy is defined as an unexcused absence from school by a minor that exceed the number of such absences allowed under the state law. Truancy is a prevalent predicament facing societies today. One should consider following facts:  teenagers who are truant truly increase the danger for dropping out school. High school dropouts are more likely not to find jobs, on welfare, or to end up drinking. Truancy has been also identified as a risk factor to teenagers. It is an early warning sign of students with probable criminal activities, education failure, through suspension, social isolation or dropping out. Various theories have explained the cause of truancy. For example, a Sociological Study stipulates that individual get to extent of wrongdoing because of lack of effective social management agencies. Besides this, it also stipulates that criminal activities on our children are from low income and worsen areas. George Herbert mead’s role theory states that of the self states that a student bad behavior has to be associated with individual who violates the law. According to Albert Cohen’s Middle-Class Measuring Role and Working-Class Boy theory, teens have been tackled with limitation to access their goal with constraint of legitimate avenues.

2.      Research Objectives

1)      To evaluate the best research design methods that will be used to determine the effects of truancy on our children

2)      To research on the methods that will be use in the collection of data

3)      To investigate on effects cause and effects of truancy on our children

4)      To report on best finding and recommendation that would reduce truancy on our children

3.      Research Questions

1)      Whatare the methods used to determine the effects of truancy on our children

2)      What are the techniques of collecting data on effects of truancy on our children

3)      What are the effects and cause of truancy on our children

4)      Writing a proposal

4.      Literature Review

Many institutions are using tough measures to keep kids in class. For instance, some governments are now passing through the regulation allowing the police to issue an illustration to either the truant or the parent, which can upshot in 30 days in jail or $500 fine for the parent and suspension of the teenager's license to drive(Robert, 2007).

Court-Based and Court Diversion Programs control the power of the court, in order to harmonize and oversee the delivery of services that are acknowledged for the truant youth, and often for the family, as well. Example of this court is Truancy Court Diversion Project, which uses family courts as the way to provide an expansive array of services to families.

Findings of this information come from the U.S. Department of National Center for Education Statistics.  They conducted several studies and have put into paper the association between the truancy and drug use. The statement from Maryland Center for Substance Abuse Research researched that 51 % of feminine juvenile are detected not at school at the time of arrest when they are tested positive for the use of drug.

Another research conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice's Drug Use Forecasting Program discovered that more than half (53 %) of the group of 403 male detainees in San Diego  were tested positive for the drug use when they were taken to the juvenile hall. Kids who were absent at school were likely (67 % versus 49 %) to be tested positive for the drug use than those who attended (Daniel, 2008).

School-based programs have been implemented and assessed for the truancy reduction. The Multnomah County, Ore., School Attendance Initiative (SAI) is a no punitive, culturally suitable approach to help students maintain the regular attendance. One of SAI’s goals is to identify attendance problems early, so they would not become serious (Johannes, 1997).

Another school-based program is a Los Angeles County truancy decline program called Abolish Chronic Truancy (A.C.T.) which targets children from elementary school who have some excessive absences. The program places prosecutors at schools to work with teachers, administrators, parents or guardians and students to get involved in the very commencement of the truancy cycle, before the problem is entrenched.

A.C.T. uses a sequence of graduated intercessions to hold students and parents responsible for attendance problems. The program sends a letter to parents of students with attendance problems. Parents and children are invited to meet with the deputy district attorney (Center, 1999).

According to U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, truancy has forced many teenagers in the United States to use drugs, such as marijuana. The lack of dedication to school has been recognized by several studies as a risk factor for teen pregnancy, delinquency, substance abuse and school dropout. Other than these truants, a number of studies conducted have found that truants have experienced stronger feelings of rejection, low self-esteem and criticism from their parents than non-truants.

According to research conducted by Education Commission on Time and Learning in United States, children of school age and teens who are not verified during hours after school are more prone to use marijuana, alcohol, drugs and tobacco, engage in high-risk criminal behaviors, receive low marks, and leave school than those who have chance to participate from constructive activities organized by responsible adults.

In a 1994, Harris poll has investigated that over one-half of teachers said that children who were left on their own in their free time after school are the explanation for difficulties in the class. Children with low reading score are more likely to exhibit the criminal behavior than their peers whose reading score is alright, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (Karen, 2008).

A research conducted by the Department of Justice stipulates that truancy can be valuable to societies, since the state education funding in general is based on the genuine attendance. Unquestionable absence may cost a school system a lot of money in its lost revenue. The society also pays high costs to businesses for the reeducation and retraining, along with costs associated with prosecution, arrestments, and incarceration of children who commit criminal acts.

According to research conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors' survey, 56 % or 154 of investigated places have had youth embargo for 10 years minimum. Officials in one half of investigated cities consider that the juvenile crime reduced as the curfew was enforced. 11 % recon the number of crimes has not changed; and 10 % think that the number of juvenile-related crimes increased.

Curfews can also be costly for cities. 23% or 61 cities that took part in the U.S. Conference of Mayor's survey considered there were increased costs of enforcing curfews.    Other societies are working on prevention of the problem of truancy by contributing positive activities to increase the students' interest in school, academic performance and confidence levels. For instance, after-school programs may assist children in developing stronger confidence in their studying. 

Additionally, in order to have an effective truancy reduction programs, parents and guardians should involve themselves fully in order to reduce this vice. A continuing support should also prevail, including meaningful incentives for consequences of poor attendance and decent attendance. Society actors like law enforcement, social service provider and mental health workers should collaborate.

However, many cities in the United States are defining and enforcing curfews in an attempt to minimize the truancy and crime, and to persuade parents to discipline their children. An investigation carried out by the U.S. Conference of Mayors found that 276 out of 347 responding cities had a night curfew, and seventy six had a daytime curfew, as well.

In addition to punishing parents, courts can order them to attend parenting classes and hold them in a disdain of court, if they do not attend. In some situations, the court may take a child away from a parent and make the child a ward of the court.

Some societies address truancy through community-based programs. Programs recognize that truancy is not an individual or a family problem alone, but is a society vice that should be addressed   by collaboration among various systems in the community. For example, Truancy Assessment and Service Centers (TASC) are one example of a community-based approach. It mobilizes all sections of the community and takes comprehensive approach to address problems of diverse population in their neighborhood (Richard, 2008). Centers place children in the kindergarten through the 5th grade early assessment, identification and prompt delivery of well-coordinated intervention in order to prevent continued absences from the school.

Another society-based approach is representedby the New Jersey Juvenile/Family Crisis Intervention Units (JFCIUs), which are endorsed to divert matters which involve family-related problems from court proceedings. The JFCIUs provide the short-term interference service in case of crisis with the aim of stabilizing family conditions and/or referring the child and the family to available public agencies.

5.      Research Design

A research design is a work plan which purpose is to ensure that the data obtained enable one to answer the initial question as definitely as possible. The term also refers to how a researcher puts an investigative study together to set questions or answer a question. Research design works as a logical plan outlining researcher’s methods of compilation, study, research limitations and details on how the study will arrive at its conclusions. Research will use an experimental quantitative research design as the most appropriate in carrying out this research because the art of preparation and implementing an experiment is efficient and effective in that the researcher is able to acquire the comprehensive information of the number of truants in order to put in place measures that will reduce this vice.

6.      Sampling

A process used in statistical analysis, in which a predestined number of observations will be taken from a bigger population. Simple sampling method will be used to conduct this research, because it will extensively cover the whole population in any place. The researcher will extensively be able to get the correct number of truants in different places without particular basing his facts in only one place.

7.      Data Collection

It is the process of bringing together or generating information that has been systematically observed, organized, recorded, categorized or defined in such a system that logical processing and implication may occur. Research will use primary and secondary data collection methods, such as questionnaires, observation and interviewing, because they will help one to identify the correct counter measures in research that will reduce the number of truants in the world.

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