Leaving aside those kids who do better outside of a traditional classroom; or those who benefit from more focused education but can't get into magnet schools; or those who sadly opt out by suicide because of bullying; or those who cause behavioral disruptions for the students who want to be there; or the sexual assaults, drugs, and criminal activities that run rampant in some areas; or the massive amounts of infrastructure upgrades and repairs to the physical plants; or those who literally find better things to do with their time (the short list) than snooze through homeroom... here's another solution in search of a problem that parents nationwide would have to deal with for an additional couple of years:
Mom handcuffed for tardy kids
Here in Loudoun, VA, I am a the mother of three little girls at an elementary school who was just ARRESTED for getting my girls late to school. After the fifth offense there was a meeting with a truant officer. We were late twice since then, which resulted in the surprise of three officers showing up on this Sat night ( 1.21.2012), where I was literally handcuffed and brought to the Adult Detention Center to meet with the magistrate who chose to release me with a $3,000 bond promised to be paid if I fail to show up for the arraignment in a few days.
Apparently it's not just the kids we need to worry about.
My take: I'm an unschooling parent who was a tow-the-line straight A student in high school. I'm extremely proud that we followed an alternate path with our now-grown son, because I've seen that not everyone is meant for the standard educational experience. While I think there should be some accountability for parents who simply don't give a damn about their kids, what we see more and more are zero-tolerance policies for everything except what actually works for the individual child. I believe that our schools are more like prisons, designed to keep people in when they may want out. Common sense is dead.
And I loved school. Now I know I really loved learning. Whole 'nother ballgame.
ETA Jan 27: I'll just drop this here, then. It's official. Mother Arrested in Apparent Truancy Case