12/20/2005Schools Seize Drivers Licenses Over Bad Grades
Nearly half the states have enacted laws allowing seizure of a minor's right to drive over truancy or even bad grades.
Twenty-three states have enacted laws that allow schools to deny the right to drive to students who do not attend class or who receive failing grades. Tennessee, for example, will take the license away from anyone under age 18 who does not "maintain satisfactory academic progress" in school. Despite the lack of evidence that these laws have a salutary effect on truancy rates, more states continue to adopt them. Most recently, legislators in Ontario, Canada proposed last week to enact a dropout license seizure law for those under 18.
Many high school dropouts have gone on to make significant contributions to society. Their numbers include newsman Peter Jennings, civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, film producer David Lean and self-made billionaires Richard Branson and Bill Bartman. One list documents 18 billionaires, 10 Nobel Prize winners, 55 best-selling authors and 8 U.S. Presidents among the list of high school dropouts.
States that require attendance in school to receive license: Alabama Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, West VirginiaSource: Sanctions on Driving Privileges (Education Commission of the States, 3/1/2005)
States that have attendance and performance standards for receiving license: Illinois, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia
States with policies that suspend licenses for truancy and/or academic problems: Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin
States with policies that require attendance for both issuance and maintenance of license: California,Florida, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee
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