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We're optmistic about the Harrison truancy plan

We are hopeful that a new anti-truancy program enacted by Harrison County schools will do exactly what it is intended to do -- help students get a quality education.

The plan, which is being developed in conjunction with the Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, will be tested at Gore Middle School this year.

It calls for correspondence and meetings among truants' parents, the prosecuting attorney's office and school officials as a first line of action. Ultimately, the habitual truants and their parents may face prosecution.

On the surface, this may seem extreme. But, if these truants are allowed to fall further and further behind educationally there will be an equally extreme price to pay.

Their sporadic educational history will hinder their efforts to secure gainful employment, for one thing. In that case, it may be the taxpayers paying the extreme price for their youthful transgressions.

For children who fall within the legal age for mandatory education, school is their job. The school system has a right and a responsibility to make sure every student -- even these difficult truancy cases -- gets the best education he or she possibly can.

We commend the Harrison County school system and the prosecuting attorney's office for taking this responsibility so seriously. We urge county parents and students to do their part, as well.

Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Nora Edinger and J. Cecil Jarvis.

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