Germany: Parents may go to jail if their children skip school

  During my study in Germany, I lived in a family in Berlin. The man of the family was Frank, a truck driver, and the woman was Sandra, a supermarket stocker. They had a 13-year-old son named Luca, who was in 7th grade at a local high school.
  For a while, Luca was addicted to online games and couldn’t stop himself. Frank and Sandra, however, were trying to make ends meet, leaving early in the morning and returning late at night, neglecting to discipline Luca, and often missing even parent-teacher conferences at school. After he lost the control of his parents, Luca became more reckless and often skipped school to play online games or wandered the streets.
  One day after dinner, Frank went to the mailbox at the door to get the newspaper as usual, but was surprised to find a court summons inside. It turned out that the Truancy Management Office of Lucca School had charged Frank, as a parent, with “neglecting to discipline his children and allowing them to skip school”. Looking at the charges on the court summons, Mr. and Mrs. Frank looked at each other in disbelief.
  ”Isn’t the school making a big deal out of this? I’ve never heard of a school taking a student’s parents to court for truancy!” I was amused and a little incredulous. Frank, however, said to me with a bitter smile on his face, “In Germany, for truancy problems of school students (mainly those aged 6 to 16), the German judiciary has tailored the Anti-Transition Act.” The bill stipulates: students cannot skip more than 7 days or 14 half days of school within 6 months without a reason, if more than that is a violation of the Anti-Transition Act, parents will be charged by the school truancy management office; once it is confirmed that parents know the fact that their children are truant, parents will be sentenced to a fine of more than 25 euros and less than 100 euros, or a custodial sentence of up to 30 days or hard labor; those who connive at their children’s serious truancy parents can be sentenced to up to one year of imprisonment. Moreover, the legal handbook on truancy was distributed to every student and parent on the first day of school. In addition, the law booklets were accompanied by signed documents that parents were required to sign and return to the school, indicating that the parents had read and understood and would comply with the contents of the statute.
  On the day of the trial, I accompanied the Frank family to the courtroom for the hearing. In the courtroom, Luca’s guidance counselor cited evidence that Luca had skipped school for nine days without a reason, and presented testimonials from Luca’s classmates and teachers, and Luca admitted in court that he had skipped school to play online games. The court sentenced Frank to 30 days of detention in accordance with the German Anti-Transition Act. However, because of Frank’s sincere attitude, he made a “confession” in court and promised the school that he would discipline his son more closely in the future. Luca also cried and repented, saying he would change his ways, quit online gaming and promise not to skip school in the future. Finally, after the school pleaded for mercy, the court changed Frank’s sentence to a 100 euro fine and exempted him from detention. On the same day, together with Frank was charged by the school “truancy management office”, there are 12 other parents of truant students, they were sentenced to fines, some sentenced to hard labor, the parents of the most serious truant student, sentenced to one year in prison.