From: Bonnie Pence
To:
Subject: Fw: SB 45
Date: Sat Feb 27 18:56:09 MST 2016
Body:



----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Bonnie Pence <bapence2go@yahoo.com>
To: "blast@le.utah.gov" <blast@le.utah.gov>
Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2016 11:48 AM
Subject: SB 45

Dear Rep. Last:

I request, please, that you put this bill on the agenda for your next meeting.  Criminal penalties against parents because their children are truant is unjust.  It is wrong.  If you've ever had a strong-willed teenager, who acts out because of emotional imbalances and anger, you will know why I say this.

Thirty some odd years ago after an upsetting divorce, and moving to Utah from Georgia to be near family,  I had this problem.  I had to go to work in order to support myself and three children. I left for work shortly after getting my children out the door for school.  I didn't know that my 13 year old daughter was skipping school, oft times coming back home after I left.  My neighbor alerted me and then the truancy officer from the junior high school contacted me. I had to go to work.  My employer was understanding, but I could not stay there and make sure she went.  She even lived with my sister and brother-in-law for a time, and he went to school to check to make sure she was there.  She told me later that having him check on her was helpful, but...long story short - I did everything in my power to convince her to go to school, the truancy officer did the same, as well as try to frighten her by showing her the detention center where she would end up if she continued to not go to school.  To no avail. Months and years of heartache, worry, anxiety and stress went by.  I took her to counseling, to her detention officer, to school counselors, to the Bishop, visited her when she was in the Detention Center at Slate Canyon (crying all the way home afterwards) and it didn't make a bit of difference.  She was an angry young girl, hell bent on doing what she wanted and nothing frightened her.  She continued to skip school, not graduating with her class. Thank heaven there were no criminal penalties issued at that time.

It is a bit insane to believe that parents can contain and force their disobedient and rebellious children to comply.  Some of these strong-willed and powerful children are impossible to convince. They will do what they want.

Thank you for your service.  I hope you will thoughtfully consider my request.

Bonnie A Pence
 995 N. 475 E.
Orem, Utah 84097