Who raises the red flag on absentees?
In today's paper, I write about 15-year-old Tyisha M. Brown, a Woodlawn High School student who was found shot to death in a high-crime area of the city. Tyisha was never reported missing by family members and it took three weeks for police to learn her identity.
The circumstances surrounding Tyisha's death raise questions about the obligation of school officials to raise a red flag when students abruptly stop showing up. According to a school official, she was neither chronically absent nor a disciplinary problem. But her long absence did not prompt the school to look into her whereabouts because school officials wait about three weeks before investigating. "Unfortunately, schools deal with kids who get up and move and don't tell us," the school officials explained.
Should school officials move quicker when a student abruptly stops showing up for classes and remains absent for a long time?