Truancy appears to be a growing concern in Missouri City, which is part of the Fort Bend school district.
It may become more of a concern for parents, who might start getting hit in the pocketbook for their kids' actions.
Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen has been discussing, at least in a preliminary way, how to address the problem. One solution he's mentioned: No more community-service punishment for offenders; instead municipal courts will issue $350 fines.
Payable by someone/anyone, whether it's the kid or the parents.
Missouri City spokeswoman Elsa Malakoff Maxey is trying to downplay the idea at the moment. We'd told her we heard that Owen had mentioned the $350 fines at a public meeting at Elkins High.
She promised to get Owen on the phone, but instead only relayed a message.
"He made no such presentation," she said. (Ooops! Sorry.)
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"It was a private conversation with someone," she explained. (No ooops, then. No "sorry.") "He is trying to work something out between the city and the school district...It was a conversation, they were brainstorming or something like that."
She says "at this point in time" there's no plan to mandate fines instead of community service. But she wouldn't rule it out, either.
So get out your pocketbooks, Mo Cityans. Or get your butts, or your kids' butts, in school.
-- Richard Connelly